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Cfrrfr of the Kantnm fhntiict of J'ntnsvhfftmn. . 





AS apology for presenting to the Republic of Letters 
tke authentic memorials of Bbh jamin Fiunklin, illustra- 
tive of his Life and Times, written almost entirely with his 
own handy would be at once superfluous and disrespectful. If 
any observation be at all recfuisite, in the shape of explana- 
tion, it most be in answer to the inquiry, why surli interest- 
ing documents have been so long withheld from public view? 
To this the Editor has no hesitation in replying, that were ho 
conscious of having neglected a solemn trust, by disobeying a 
positive injunction; or could he be convinced, that the world 
has sustained any real injury by the delay of the publication, be 
certainly should take shame to himself for not having sooner 
committed to the press, what at an earlier period, would have 
been much more to his pecuniary advantage*. But aware« as 
lie is, of the deference due to the general feeling of admira- 
tion for the illustrious dead,, he is no less sensible that there 
are Hme$ and seasons when prudence imposes the restriction 
of silence in the gratification even of the most laudable cu- 

It was the lot of this distinguished character above most 
nent to move, in the prominent parts of his active life, within 
a sphere agitated to no ordinary degree of heat by the inflam- 
matory passions of p<ilitical fury; and be had scarcely seated 
litmself in the shade of repose, from the turmoil of public em- 

ployment^ when another revolution burst forth with far mofi 
tremendous violence; during the progress of which his name 
Was adduced by anarchists as a sanction for their practices^ 
uid his authority quoted bj dreaming theorists in support of 
their visionary projects. Whether, tlierefore, tiie publication 
of his Memoirs and other papers, amidst such a scene of per-* 
torbation, would have been conducive to the desirable ends of 
lieace^ may be a matter of question; but at all events the sober 
and inquisitive part of mankind can have no cause to regret 
the suspension of what might have suffered from the pervert- 
ed talents of designing partizans and infuriated zealots. It 
may fairly be observed, that the writings of Da. Fsakkliv 
are calculated to serve a far more important purpose than 
that of ministering to the views of party, and keeping alive 
national divisions, which, however necessitated by circumstan- 
ces, ought to cease with the occasion, and yield to the spirit 
of philanthropy. Even amidst the din of war and the conten- 
tion of faction, it was the constant aim of this excellent man^ 
to promote a conciliatory disposition, and to correct the acer- 
bity of controversy. Though no one could feel more sensibly 
for the wrongs of his country, or have more enlarged ideas 
on the subject of general liberty, his powerful efforts to re- 
dress the one and extend the other^ were always connected 
with the paramount object of social improvement, in the re- 
commendation of those habits which tend most effectually to 
imite men together in the bonds of amity. Happening, how- 
ever, to live himself in a turbulent period, and called upon to 
take a leading part in those scones which produced a new em- 
pire in the western world ; much of his latter memoirs and 
correspondence will be found to exhibit his undisguised 
thoughts upon the public men and occurrences of his day. 
These sketches, anecdotes, and reflections will now be read 
by men of opposite sentiments without awakening painfhl 

FJi£)fAC£« V 

recollections, or rekindling the dying embers of animosity: 
wtiile the historian and the moralist may learn from them the 
secret springs of public eventsy and the folly of being carried 
away by political prejudice. 

While, therefore, some contracted minds in diflTerent conn« 
tries may be qurrulously disposed to censure the delay that 
has taken place in the publication oP these posthumous papers, 
it is presumed that the more considerate and liberal on either 
eida of the Atlantic, will apprcive of the motives which have 
operated for the procrastination, even though the period has 
so far exceeded the nonum premaiur aimtifR, assigned by Ho- 
race, the oldest and best of critics, for the appearance of a 
finished performance. 

The Editor, in offering this justificatory plea to the public, 
and taking credit for having exercised so much discretion as 
to keep these relics in his private custody, till the retura of 
halcyon days and a brightened horison, when their true value 
might be best appreciated, feels that he has discharged bis 
duty in that manner which the Tenerable writer himself would 
have prescribed, could he have anticipated the disorders which 
have ravaged the most polished and enlightened states since 
his removal from this scene t>f pride and weakness; where 
nations as well as individuals have their periods of infancy 
and decrepitude, o{ moral vigor and wild derangement. 

Shortly after the death of Dr. Franklin there were not 
wanting the nsual train of Literary Speculators to exercise 
their industry in collecting his avowed productions, together 
with those which public rumor ascribed to his pen. These 
miscellanies were printed in various forms both in England 
aad America, greatly to the advantage of the publishers; nor 
did the possessor of the originals avail himself of the general 
aridity and the celebrity of his ancestor, to deprive those per- 
si>n9 of the profits which they continued to reap from repeated 

editions of papers that had coat them nothing. When^ howe- 
rer, they had reason to apprehend that the genuine memoirs 
and other works of Franklin, as written and corrected b j 
himself, would be brought forward in a manner suitable to 
tlieir importance, and the dignified rank of the author, in the 
political and literary worid,inTidious reports were sent abroad, 
and circulated with uncommon diligence, asserting that all the 
literary remains of Dr. Franklin had been purchased at an 
enormous rate by the British ministry, who (mirabUt dictu) 
it seems were more afraid of this arsenal of paper than of the 
power of France, with all her numerous resources and auxi- 
liaries. This convenient tale, absurd as it was, found report- 
ers both in Europe and in the United States, who bruited it 
about with so much art, as to make many who were unac- 
quainted with the legatee of the manuscripts, believe it to be 
true, and to lament feelingly, that such inestimable produc- 
tions should be suppressed, and lost for ever, through the cu- 
pidity of the person to whom they were bequeathed. Provok- 
ing as the story was, the party whom it most affected, and 
whose interests it was designed to injure, felt too much of the 
conscia mens recti to do otherwise than treat the ridiculous in- 
vention with contempt, from a persuasion that the refutation 
of an improbable falsehood Is beneath the dignity of truth. 
He therefore endured the opprobrium without complaint, and 
even suffered it to be repeated without being goaded into an 
explanation; contentedly waiting for the time when he might 
best fulfil his duty, and shame his calumniators. That period 
has at length arrived, and the world will now see whether an 
enlightened government could be weak enough to be frighten- 
ed by the posthumous works of a philosopher; or whether a 
man of integrity, bred under Frankliir, bearing his name, and 
entrusted with his confidence, could be bribed into an act of 
treachery to his memory. 


or the preseBt ooUecti«D it remains to be observed, tbat tbe 
oidy portion wbich has hitherto appeared in any fonay is the 
first fascicalos of the Memoirs of Dr. Franklin, esctendtng 
from his birth to the year 1757, forming one handiied and se- 
venty-five pages only of the present volnme. But even what 
has formerly been printed of this part, can scarcely lay any 
claim to mriginalUyf since the English edition is no rnqre than 
a translation from the French, which of itself is a profisss- 
ed version of a transcriptton; so that the metamorphoses nf 
ihis interesting piece of biography, ma^ be sidd to resembb 
the fate of Milton's epic poem, which a French Abhe para- 
phrased into inflated prose, and which an English writer, ig- 
norant of its origin, turned baciL again under (he samedknible 
disguise into iIb native language. 

Admitting, however, that the small pcotion pi the memoir 
given to the world, is substantially correct in the materials 
of the narrative, the present publication of it must be infinitely 
more estimable by being printed literally from the original 

It is much to be regretted, tbat Dr. Franklin was not ena- 
bled, by his numerous avocations and the infirmities of old 
age, to complete the narrative of his life in his own inimita- 
ble manner. That he intended to have done this is certain, 
from his correspondence, as well as from the parts in contin- 
uation of the memoir which are now for the first time commu- 
nicated to the world. But the convulsed state of things during 
the American revolution, the lively concern which he had in 
that event, and his multiplied public engagements, after con- 
tributing to the establishment of the independence of his coun- 
try, prevented him from indulging his own inclinations and 
complying with the earnest desire of his numerous friends. 

Upon the Editor, therefore, has devolved the task of filling 
up the chasms in the best manner that he could^ from the let* 


ters and other papers of his revered relative; and where these 
docnmaiits failed, in giving adequate information, by supply- 
ing the deficiencies from Stuber's CoirTiNUATioir ot tbs 
Life of Dr. Frahsxin, and other sources, upon the fidelity 
of which any dependence could be placed for the accuracy of 
what they imparted. In executing this part of his trust, the 
Editor .is sensible how much reason he has to solicit the indul- 
gence of the reader; but though fully conscious that no talent 
short of Dr. Franklin's own could render his private and 
public history equally instructive and entertaining with what 
he drew up himself; yet he may justly claim the merit of hav- 
ing scrupulously adhered to the verity of what he has related, 
and of endeavoring to keep as closely as possible in that track 
of simplicity which was the distinguished characteristic of this 
truly moral and political Philosopher. 


%Meaden^, Franklio proposes one at Philadelphia, i34. 
m^ct of the British parliament ta prohibit and restrain American trade* 360. 
^danu, Rutledge, and Franklin meet lord Howe^ 361* 
JUban^^ appointed commissioner to the Indians there, in 1754, 137 — Plan 

of miion of the colonies prepared and presented thare, 137. 
.Alexander, William, taq*f Vr«nldUn's letter to, on the origin of the stttrnfi 

Mnerica asserts her right of exclusively taziifg herself, 222. 
Amerieane abused in the house of lords, their courage, religion, and wi* 

derstanding depreciated and treated with contempt, 345. 
— — said to be of a different species, S46. 
AMcdeiee c^ Bradford, 22,-26^of Ralph* 37— of govemot Clinton, 117— 

of Beatty, 157— of governor Denny* 166. 
^jrume>U9 against the right of the British parliament to tax Ameriea, 268. 
Jimoldp general, his treB^attms eondnct, 404— Versca on, 406— How 

rewarded by the British goremment, 407,-408. 
wfrret^ the ministry design to arrest Franklin, 274,-347. 
ArtUUh of belief and acts qf reU^wn, 88. 
tM^t ef virtue, 89. 
JUsembfy, Franklin cbosen elerk of, 107— Bleeted a member of, 126. 


Marclag, David, interview betwixt Franklin and, 280— Letters to Frank- 
lin, 281-394— Conference with, 325— Further conference, 335. 

Mmatg, Bfr., anecdote of him and Franklin, 157. 

Bernard, governor, dispute with lieutenant-goyemor Hutchinson and, 225* 

MoQan, FHmkUn, and Let? 9 memorial to the king, 331. 

Send, Dr. Tbomas,^ropo8e8 an hospital in Philadelphia, 128. 

Meetm, resolutions of the town of, 221— Tumult ^ith the people and th6 
•oldier8,i225— Bill considered, 270. 

JBradfbrd, Andrew, anecdotes of, 22,-26,-27. 

Mraddeck, general, arrives in America, 142— Service rendered to his tf ^ 
my, 144— His character, 146wHis defeat, 149,-50. 


Jiromip doctor, tarns the bible into dog^grel reriey Sir 

Bur^cyne, general, lurrenders with hit whole snny to the Amerieam, 368* 

JBurwt, son of th*. Burnet, notices Franklin, S3. 

Jkny-M^, Franklin writea aeveral pieoea under that title, 65. 


Cahmmiotu speechea in house of lords,- against Ameriea, 346. 

CamM4sret N. £ngl|Uid« univemity confer degree of M. JL, 136. 

Camden, lord, has intenriews with hini» 308^-SttpportB America^ 317**' 
Speaks adnirablj on American affairs, 345. 

Canada, Franklin decidea the policy of Chatham concerning,. 194-«Hia 
pamphlet thereon, 195. x 

Card, with an emblem used by him, 270. 

CarUature bccAsioned by the stamp act, 308. 

Carlule, Eden, and Johnstone, 383. 

Cauaet rf' the American dieeontemie, a pamphlet, S20. 

Chancery, Franklin' sued in, 343. 

Charleeten, sends a printer thither, 103. 

Charter, the first royal, granted to Pennsylyania, in 1681, 188. 

Chatham, lord, consults Franklin, 194-«Desires to see him, 377— his mp« 
tion relatiTe to America, 317— Visits Franklin, 319— BQs plan for set* 
tling the disputes with the colonies 333— Rejection of the tame, 337. 

C/o^Aom,' colonel, 157— His eulogium on Franklin, 333.' 

ClarkemCe life 6f Penn, refutation of censures on Franklin in, 190. 

Clerk of assembly, Franklin chosen, 107— Sechosen, 118— Hit maxim tm 
to office, lia 

Cm^on, John, first proposes the lighting of the streets of Philadelphia, 

Clhaen, goTemor; aftecdote of, 117. 

Coleman, William, character pf, 63— liberality to Franklin, 68. 

Cehfdee, plan for their union, 137. 

CeOku, John, aome account of, 31,-33,*33,-35. 

CsOmson, publishes Franklin's ** J^em Experimente m Eledriei^/* 163. 

Cemmieaienere in Europe, grant lettera of marque, 380. 

Common Senee, a political publication, 359. 

Conductore, blunt opposed to pointed, 394~-Epigram on, 395. 

Cengreee, assembly of, 373— Their declaration of rights: their petition 
to the king, 273,-396— Send their proceedings to lord Chatham, and 
Present a second petition, 353— I>eclare the independence of the co* 
lonies, 360— Appoint a deputation to meet lord Howe and healrhis pro- 
positions of peaces 361— Resolution respecting general Sullivan, 363 
—Report of the committee appointed to confer with lor4 Howe, 365— 
Assemble at PhOadelphia. 367. 

Copebf, sir Godfrey, his gold medal presented to Frsoklin, 165. 

Creed, Franklin's early religious, 100. 

jsmoL TO MKMoias. si 

Ongrkan, George, Indian interpreter, 148. 
€9$i nBtiffki9t a panaplilet by Franklin^ 202. 
Ciuki^, Thomaa^ letters to» 371. 

Jk mmui k, lord* made secretary of state for America, 233— Friendly to 
FranUia, 394— Letter t<s 383— Hia good viahea towards the coloniea, 
3mekia^», the priaceas, letter to Franklin, 501. 
2kkr introdttcea Franklin's electrical experimenta into France^ 146,-216. 
Mr^ an early filend of Franklin, 41«— His death: trait in hia 
!r, 5L 

Jtomj i , gofernor^ aseedele of, l4i*-Siicoeeda Morria, 161— Presents a 
nedid to Flraakfin* 166— Ancodotet of, 166— Refuses aaaent to an ap« 
pn^Mnation, 13^. 
. Jh M9ma9g indention of the eleetrical kite, falsely attrU>nted t«^ 317* 
jyEiUiing' arrives in America with aix aaii of frigates, 396-^aaae8 of 

hia want of sooceaa, 396. 
^iekenmn, John, engaged in pnhlio affidra, 301. 
JhAwm gt mona^ tranalatea FrankUn'a philosoplucal papers into French, 

310. ' 

JhKiufn of America, acme accaiKit of Uie, 313. 

JgeMOy in Northamptonahire, birth-place of the anoestor of Franklin, 3. 
JUbi, Carlisle, and Johnstone, 383. 

EAicafHan of femalea, how important, 103— Publishes a pamphlet on, 124. 
EiUetri€al disooreries, general account of Franklin's, 162. 
BUttriait^t his first experiments in, 126— Benewed, 161— Applied to va< 

xioiia purposes by Franklin, 1 3,-164. 
^igram on conductors, 395. 
M^perimenu on canals, and water, by Franklin, 209. 
■i. I on the Gu^h Stream, 348. 

» • 

.Foysfie, aletter to, 407. ^ 

tire Compame9t first established by Franklin, 110. 

Fire-place invented, an iron one, 123. 

JFVret, In^an method of concealing, 

i^o^vrs^ anceatora of Franklin, 7. 

PmnkBnt early history of the family of, 1— The name fonherly an order 
of rank, Mte 3— Thomas born, 4— Original letter from Josiah to his 
son Ben. Franklin, Ao/e. 4— Benjamin Franklin bom, 7— Placed at the 
Grammar School, 8— Placed with a tallow chandter, 9 — Youthful an- 
ecdote of, 10— General character of his father, 11 — Erects a moAu« 


Ilient lo his father and mother, 11— -Dislikes the husiness of a tallai^ 
chandiler, which he quits, IS-r^Passion for letters, the cause of his be- 
coming^ a printer, \^ls apprenticed to his brother, 13— Displays A 
turn for writing poett7« 14^-rMethod of teaching himself English com- 
position, 15 — ^Effect produced by hts reading Tyron on vegetable diet, 
Ift— Coarse of reading pursued by him, 17— Writes for the JVWv JSnf- 
hmd Couram, 18 — Vithn with his brother,* t^e printer, to whom he is 
apprenticed, l^—CMirim/ published in hianame, SO-^Leares his l»other 
and proceeds to New York, 21— Quits Kew York for Philade^hia, 2^— 
Becomes acquainted with Dr. Browne, 34— Account of his landing at I%i« 
iadelphia, 35— Is employed ky Keimer the printer, 27— Besides at Blr. 
Bead% his future wife's father, 38— Returns to Boston, 90— Second 
Tisit to Fhiladelphta, 33— Is Introduced to Burnet the governor of New- 
York, 33— Is deceived by sir liViUiam Keith, 35 — Belinquiahca vegeta- 
ble diet, 36 — ^Proposal made him for establishing a new reltgious sect* 
36— Resumes his vegetable diet, ST — ^Pays his addresses to Miss Read» 
37U-Poffms new acquaintance, 38— Embarks for London, 40^-ContractB^ 
an intimacy with Mr. Denham during the voyage, 41 — Arrives in Lon- 
don, 41 — ^Becomes acquahited with Mr. Uannlton, 42— Obtains employ-^ 
tnent as a printer, 43— Writes a dissertation on Liberty and J^^foeusUg, 
with remarks on WoUastone's ReUgiwv of Miture, 44— Becomes ac- 
quainted with Mr. Lyons, Dr. MandeviUe, Dr. Pemberton,and9ir Hans 
Sloane, 44->Is employed by Watts, 47— Prowess as a swimmer, Si- 
Engages as clerk with Mr. Denham, 52-r»Ts introduced to sir WiUiani 
Wyndham, 52— Quits England, 53— Lands at Philadelphia, 53— IMtode 
of life, 54— Employs himself again as a printer, 55— Quarrels . with 
Keimer, and quits his employ, 57— Makes paper money for New Jersey, 
58 — ^Enters into partnership with Meredith, 58— His moral and reli- 
IfiouS principles, 60-'-Commences business with his partner, 61— » 
Founds a literary Junto, 64— Industry in his profession, 64— Projects 
a newspapers is forestalled in his intentions, 64— Writes under the sig- 
nature of ^usy-body, 65— Purchases the paper started in opposition to 
his proposed plan, 65-^eparates from Meredith and commences on 
his own account, 68— Writes on the necessity of paper money, 69— 
Opens shop as a stationer, 71— 'Declines an offer of marriage proposed 
by Mrs. Godfrey, 72— Reilfews his intimacy with Af iss Read, 73— His 
marriage to Miss Read, 74— Projects the first subscription library in 
Philadel^ia, 83— Luxury first introduced into Franklin's family, 85— 
His reitgious opinions, 87— Composes articU9 of belief and acte of reli- 
gion for his oim use, 88-r-Prqjects for attaining moral perfection, 88 — 
j^rt of virtue, 90— Extensive project, 98 — Observations on reading his^ 
tory, 99— United party for virtue, 99— Religious Creed, lOOu^Publishes 
Poor Richard's Almanac, 101 — Mode of conducting his newspaper, 103 
r-^ends a printer to South Carolina, 103— Recommends a knowlege of 
9lg4(Ounts as a part of female ^ucatloa^ 10S->»Begins the study of laogu^i. 

ges» 105-IiiooMistenc J of the oomnon mode of teadung kngiuges, 105. 
-Pays a Tint to Boston, 106-Loses one of hia aonst 106-Appoiiited derk 
of geperal assembly, 107-Made post«i«ster at Philadelphia 108-FiMt 
tuns his thoughts to public afiairsy 109 — ^The city watch proposed, tj09 
—Founds the Union Fire Company, 110— Proposes establishing an Aca- 
demy and Philosophical Socie^ at Philadelphia^ 116— Publishes Plain 
Truth, 116-Its efiect, lir-Proposes a h>tt«ry fo building a batteiy» 119 
'-4ii^i^ts an Qp^n stove, l^r-Reoews his atgtempis to ^stiibtish an aca« 
demy at Philadelphia. 134-Wiites a pamphlet to fonraid the intentioD, 
134— Enters into partnership with Mr. D^vid Hall, 136-Disvotes histimo 
to philosophical experiments, 126-18 elecVBd » member of the assembly, 
and a justice of the peace, 137— His son appoinled eleik of assembly, 
.127— is.^ppointed a commissioner to treat with the Indians: the singa- 
Jbr behavior of the Indians, 128— Plan for deanrtng^the streets of Phi- 
ladelphisy aiul paving the same, 131 — His impsovemeit in street lamps, 
133— Appointed post^master-general, 136-aCade master of arts of 
Cambridge and Yale Colleges, 136— Plan for the unioa of the colonies 
137— His address to the counties of Lenoaster, 6cc. 143— Renders great 
service to genersl Braddock's army^ 144— DefendP the North-West 
frontier, 152— Chosen colonel, of a voluntnev regiment, 159-^hiloso- 
phical reputation* 163— Chosen a member of the Boyal Sootety of Lon- 
doi^ 164— Is presented with the gold med«l of sir Godfrey Copel«y* 
165— Embarks for England, 169— Xarrqw escape from the Scilly Bocks, 
174— Arrives at Falmouth, 175— In London, 176— State of polities oa 
his arrival, 183— His connection with the London newspapers, 183— 
Beply to the insinuations of the " Citiaen, or General Advertiser,'* }84 
•i^Defbids the Asserican question in various publications, 186— Dedi- 
cation of his JRtimical JUmem^ he to Arthur Onslow, esq.» 18^-His 
conduct during the differences of the Pennsyivanisn^ 190— Is noticed 
by persons of rank in EngUnd, 193-^Consulted by Bfr. Pitt, 194— 
Writes ** EngUmd^M mtertU triih reject to the C^hnUtg^ its effoct, 195 
—Visits Scotland, is made L. L. D. at St.Andrews, 196— Receives the 
same honor from Oxford, 196— Errpr corrected respecting his attempt- 
ing to seduce his son governor Franklin from his allegiance to the 
king, 197— Betums to Philsdelphis, 198— Writes a pamphlet entitled 
'^ Cbo/ Thmigkt9^ 303— Loses his seat in the Pennsylvania assembly* 
303— Beiosfeated, and again visits Great Britain, ^3— Examined befbre 
the house of commons respecting the Stamp Act» 307— Caricature pub- 
lished on the occasion, JVbUs, 308— Tints Holland, Germsny, and Paris, 
209— Introduced to Louis XV, i his electrical experiments are repeated 
in the presence of Louis XV.; and by count de Bufibn, 8tc 310— Oppo- 
sition to the act making psper money legal tenders, 319— Publishes a 
work, '* The Cqum rfthe Ameriean IHteontent/' 330^His account of the 
affair of Hutchinson's Letters, 335^The dispute betwixt Whately un^ 
Temple stated, 351—18 involved in a chaneeiy suit, 259— Refleetipnt^ 


on Hutehinton's ufftar, and vindication of fkimselfy 355—18 dtmissed 
from the office of deputy ppst-mater, 260-AControversy with Dean 
Tucker, 261— Reflections on that controreny, 367— Invents and uses 
an emblematical design, 270— Receives^ private information of the in- 
tention of the British ^vemment* to arrest him/ 374— Determines on 

' and quits Bng^Iand, 374— On his passage home writes an account of his 
efforts to negotiate betwixt Great Britain and America, 374— Mrs. 
Howe sister of lord Howe, makes an acquaintance with Dr. F. 379— 
Hints for terms of union with Great Britain, 383— Energetic letter to 
lord Dartmouth^ 366— Internew with lord Howe, 303,-309,-314— Memo- 
rial addressed to lord Dartmonth, 396— Experiments on the waters of 
the ocean. Reflection on navigation, 348— Arrival in America. Hie 
state thereof, 351— Proposes the adoption of paper money in Ameriea* 
357— Visits the American camp, 358— Sent on a mission to Canada, 358 
•^Writes to Holland for assistance, 358— Correspondence iritfa lord 
Howe, 360-Protest against equal voting in congress, 369— Is appointed 
minister plenipotentiary to the court of France, 373— Sfsts off for France,' 
575— Experiments during the voyage, on sea-water, 875— Is chased by 
cruisers. Takes two prixes, 376-^oumey to Nantes, thence to Paris, 
577'-8tate of American politics. Account of his mission to France, in 
fk letter to Dr. Injgenhausz, 373— Grants letters of marque to Amerioan 
privateers, 380— -Is presented to the king, 384— Letter to the count d* 
Aranda, 385«-4ietter on Wilson'a claiming the discovery 6f lightning 
conductors, 394— Epigram on lightning conductors, Mte, 395— Letter 
to Mr. Htttton the Moravian, 398— Receives a present of Cooke's voy- 
nges from the British government, 399— Private journal, 400— Requests 
leave to retire from the«ourt of France on account of his age, 400-^ 
The congress refuse his resignation, 403— Curious letter to a friend on 
that account, 403— Account of general Arnold's treachery, in a letter 
to general la Fayette, 403— Amuses himself ia printing at a private 
press in his own house, 413— Singular deceptions practised by him, 413 
foe dmUe of a newspaper 413— PoliUcal communications with sir Wil- 
liam Jones, 413— Negotiates for a peace at Paris, 433— Opens negotia- 
tion ^th the Swedish court, 430— The treaty of frifendriiip with Sweden 
signed, 430— ^Communicates to congress the request of the Baron de 
Stael, for Mr Temple Franklin, to be sent as envoy to the Swedish 
court, 430— Again renews his request to congress to be recalled and 
hts grandson employed, 431— Eztracta from his private journal, 437— 
Is nominated by the king of France to examine the properties of ani- 
mal mag^etism,*446-^everal letters on the same subject, 446— Signa 
the treaty of peace with Great Briuin, 449— Proposed improvement in 
Hie law of nations, 449— Leaves Passy on his return home; arrivea 
at Havre, 451 — Crosses the British channel and arrives at South- 

' ampton, 453- Is visited by persons of distinction, 457— Private jour* 
nal of his tour from Passy to Bavre and Southampton, 456— Arrivea 


M t*kiladciphja, 4J0--4>NigntiiUtory addresses on his anival, 459^^ 
Ciiosea ft member of the cooncU^ 463— Notes^ remafksi and speeches 
in that assembly, 464--Queries and remarks on constitution of go- 
iFenimenty 4^~-Speech on Salaries, 469— Speech on representation 
and ▼otes* 471— Motion for prayers in the convention, 474— Sentt> 
nests on the new canstitution of America, 476— Betires from pubMe 
afiaira, 480— Is dissatisfied with the treatipent of the American govetn- 
nent, 483— Sketch of his senrioes, 483-^Eifl plan for improving the 
eondhion of free blacks, 486— Writes against the alave trade, 488-* 
Elected a member.of the imperial academy of St. Pet^sburg, 501— 
Last iUness, death, and funeral, 504— Congress of America, and the 
national assembly of France order mourning, 505— Oration occasioned 
by his death, 50r— His statue in front of the Ubra^, I^iladelphia, in- 
scription thereon» 505— His character, 506-^£xtracts from his will and 
oodici]» 410— Epitaph written by himseUl 

J^tmJUH^ WiUiam (Dr. F.'s son), appointed governor of New Jersey, 196. 

FhmkMn, W. Temple, preface by, iii— Baron de Stall's letter rdative to 
faioi, 430— Recommended by Dr. Franklin, 431. / 

J^htkersF*^ doctor, character of, 133-^Letteas to Dc Franklin, S81— Bieet« 
ing with him and Barclay, 335— Another meeting, 345. 

iWndh, colonel, attention to Franklin, 29. 

/VencA government irst take interest in the dispute betwixt Gsent Bri« 
tain and America, 319. 

y, Joseph, engaged in politics, SOl—fiis speech pubMshed 'with 
a pre&oe by Franklin, 201. 

Gate*, general, defeats the British troops, 383. 

Geors^ appoints Franklin agent in Bngland, 309. 

Germtwg, Franklin travels into, 309. 

Geran^ monsienr, goes as envoy to America, 383. 

€fnademkttiteHf FrankKn sent in military command to, 153— Indians bum 
that place, 153— Constructs military works there, 154— His military 
poEce, 156— Apopthegm 9cmtr the aiicAor,-^rog before prayers, incen- 
tive to piety, 157. 

Godfrey^ Thomas, inventor of Hadiey's quadrant, 63. 
■ Mrs.,'pmjects a marriage for Franklin, 73. 

GM Medals awarded to Franklin, 165. 

iU vt nt ment^ Ftvlnklin's system of, eulogized by the duke deUKochefou* 
canh, 477. 

eraa?^ Robert, liberality to FrankUn, 68. 

Gu np arm d evy as grain comprehended with wheat, &c., 131. 

^i^iuTch»ft the French ambassador, attentive to Franklin, 219. 

Xf% »BSt TO HfiJIOlSlk 


ffadlet/'i quadrant^ so cftlled, inrented by Tliomas Godfrey* 63. 

ffail^ Mr. Dayid, a partner in' business with Franklin, 126. 

BanriUont Mr. Andrew, account of, 41,-70. 

Barty, David, history of, 71. 

ffartlejf, DaTid, esq., employed to negotiate with Franklin, 4S2. 

HemphiOy parson, first settles in Philadelphia, 104. 

Jkniy and Nairne, Terify FAnklin's electric system, 393. 

fferediiary legislators and mathematicians, 324. 

WMorouffh^ lord, made secretary of state for America, 221— His resig* 
nation, 222. 

JBinis, for negotiation, 283-^rgpiTOent8 on, 285. 
■ on further propositions, 334. 

J^torical liem&», opinion of rarious writers on the, 167. 

Mitcriff bbsenrations on reading, 99. 

SMland and Germany, Ftanklin travels into, 1766, 209. 

Bobnf^ Mr., broth er-in-la^ to Franklin, 28. 

Botpiua, Pennsylvania, eaUVUihed, 128. 

SoHiUiief commence betwixt Great Britain and France, 384. 

Mnite ^f Commom, Frsnklinli ecumination before the, 207. 

Awe, Mrs., confienence with Franklin, 279-~letters to Franklin, 312,-334, 

Jfi»we, lord, courts an acquaintance with Franklin, 303— meets, him by 
appointment, 336— letter to Franklin, 337— another meeting, 344— ap- 
pointed to command the British 4eet in North America, 360— eortes^ 
pondence with Franklin, 362. 

Butchinnn^ tieutenant-govemor, disputes with, 225— his letters, Franklin's 
aocount of, 230. 

BviHn^ Mr., the Moravian, account of) 399— Letter to, 41L 
B^, lord, his internew with Franklin, 336. 

ifigfhhau%^$t Dr., detection of Wilson's deceptive experiments relative 

to Franklin's lightning conductors, and pretended improvements of his 

own, 394. 
JMtoi method of concealing fires, 156. 
iiuSdiw, he |s appointed a commiasioiier to, 127— the Indian Ofator's vpc^ 

gy lor mm, 128. 
IMf, the messenger, tome account of him, 169. 
IntetH^eneeJhom JPeatujfhmdat political papers, efibct of, 182. 

Jamett Abel, lett^ to Franklin, requesting him t6 contjue his memoirs, 7j6. 
/fly, John, esq., sent minister to the court of Spaiui 386«^ArriTeft at Fari* 
to negotiate for peace, 423. 



JahKsiMei Carliale, and Eden, commidstoners, 383. 
Jtutiee 0/ peace, Franklin cbosen for ten succesaive ytxn, 127. 
Jaae9, J<Am Paul, pretended letter from him, 412. 
■ ' sir WiUiam, account of an attempt to negotiate for a peace with 
FraniUin, 413— Ifis supposed translation of ^' A Fragment of Pohfiiiu,** 
416~*His lentiments respecting America, 421. 
J«i4f0« made independent in Massachusetts, 235. 
Jifula, account of a literary one formed by Franklin, 62 — ^Its sphere en- 
kiged, lOr. 


Xeimer first employs Franklin as a printer, 27— Proposes to Franklin to 
establish a new religious sect, 37— QCiarrels with him and parts, 57-- 
Goes to Barbadoes, 56. 

Keith, sir William, proposes to establish Franklin a^ a printer, 29— Prac« 
tises the grossest fraud on Franklin, 35. 

£ifipie. Dr., a calumny of his respecting Franklin corrected, 398. 

Loupe, improvement thereof, 133. 

Xangttag'ee, began to study^ 105. 

Zaw 0/ ^atio7i9, proposed improvement thereof, 449. 

l>e, Arthur, petition of, witli iftollan and Franklin, 33l. 

Xe^o/ tender of paper money, he opposes, 178, 

Z^g^ieboora tokd mathematicians, hereditary, 324. 

JtOrarsf, the first established in Philadelphia, 83. 

Zi^Mog and Paving of Philadelphia set on foot by Franklin, 133. 

Ughtnutg, drawn from the clouds, 164— theory of conductors, 165. 

Xttigan, Mr., account of, 120. 

l^oudon, lord, arrives itl Philadelphia, 167— Hid mode of dispatcl^ing bu- 
siness, 168— IGs ideas of public service, 172 — Cause of his redioval, 

Leughbwrmigh, lord, his abuse of Franklin before the privy council, 227. 

.JaOtrieh, captain, account of his fast-sailing packet, 173. 

Ljfena, Dr., encourages Franklin to write on religious subjects, 44. 


«iieyfi^llMn, animal, 446. 

Makm, lord, refutes Itfr. Wilson's attack of Franklin's system of light- 
ning conductors, 332. 

MandenUb^e, Dr., finendship for Franklin, 44. 

JKorMf, Barb^ his secret letter on American affairs, Jnote. 426. 

J^tianaehumtte, appoints Franklin ag^nt in England, 209— the colony of, a 
aketch of the importance of, 224-4heir judges made independent, 22^ 
-JKspute with governors Bernard and Hutchinson, 325— Beport of theii* 
boose of reprcMiitatiyes on Hutchinson's letters, 236. 
VOL, I. 3 


Medal, a gold one awarded to FranUin, 165. 

Jli€etitig'h9tue, how to obtain a ivbscriptioii for, 131. 

Memonal to the King, 331. 

Meredith, enters into partnership with Franklin, SB. 

Method, iihportance of, 94. 

Meyrick, an army agent, his letter to general Arnold, 406-^ah aeeount 

of the 5000/. paid him (br Ms ireachery, 407. 
Mickle, anecdote of Mr. amuel, 63. 
MUiUuy epaii, excited by Franklin, 116. 

MSitia, writes in faror of, 153<-4Ii8 magnaiuty on the occanon, 117. 
MUUia Bilb, goTemor relbaea to ratify, 300. 
MaraJbetM, proposes to the national assembly of France a pnbUc mourn* 

ing for Franklin, 507. 
Meronkau, account of the, 154,-159. 
MnrUf James, anecdote of, 139— returns from England, 161. 

Mime and Henly^ verify Franklin's theory, 393. 
JWato, Mr. W., letter to Franklin, 302. 
JVev EngUmd €kuran$ begun by \\\t Franklins 1& 
JV«v Jereejf, first issues paper money, 44-^AViIliam Franklin, the doctor's 

son, appointed goremor of, 196,-44)point8 Franklin agent in £ngland, 

Mwpaper, mode of conducting* 103— •Newspapers English he writes i]i« 

184-^JSfiect8 of, 186. 
A^oOm^ mar^ptis, quits London, 383. 
^tUet, the abb^ opposes Franklin's system of electricity, 163— claims 

the discovery of the theory of lightning, 164. 
JVbriil^s, lord, motion in the house of commons respecting Americsj 339. 
J^etOt for discourse with lard Chatham^ 320. 

OJUet pubUci Franklin's maslm conceding, 118. 

Oiwfav, Arthur, esq., Franklin's B&aterical Beokw dedicated to htm, 184. 

fhrme, captain, anecdote of, 150. 

Osvol^ Mr., is succeeded by David Hsrtley» esq., as minister firom Great 

Britain, 433. 
Oti^fird CTnMMTi^r confers the degfee of L. !«. IXon Franklin, 196. 

Pmn^t pamphlet* ** Comtnon Sense,** effects of, in America, 359. 
Paper currency proposed by, 70— liCgal tender opposed, 178. 
ParSametu, Britisb, arguments against ito right to tax the American c^ 

Partnertlh^f advice in, 115. 

U90EX XO M£M0I&9. XIX 

• and kgfiting of Phlladelplua, set on foot by Dr. Franklin, 132. 
PtfxiMiinaxders, account of the, 19a 
Femberion, 1^> an early friend of Franklin, 44. 

Pam, WiUiam, anecdote of 130— Bzacts. quit rents, 131— Character o^ 
192— Attaches himself to James the Second, 192— deprived of his au- 
thority in PennsyWania, 193—18 m i stated, 193. 
PmmtgivaaBaf library, aa account of the, 83— state of the province of, in 
1757, 178— Urst royal charter granted to the colony, 188— First cause 
of dispute with the colony of, 198— Petition from, to tlie king, 200. 
PetHim of W. BoUan, B. Franklin, and Arthur Lee, 330. 
JPtftifMBtotibekiny from, congresa, in 1774, 273,-396-~The last to the 

PiUfadb^Aia library first eatabliahed by Franklin, 83— Plan for cleansing 

and fwving the streets, 131. 
PhUoftpidcal Society of Philadelphia, proposed by Franklin, 116. 
Piquei, M. I4i Mothe, captures 33 sail of British merchant vessels, 409. 
Pitt, Wm., eari of ^. ! a :, consulti> Franklin respecting Canada* 194. 
. Piam truth published, 116. 
Plan 9f Union at Albany in 1754, 137-^dopted by assembly, rejected by 

the British government, 143. 
Pkm of permanent union, 328. 

PtIgUuH suppasedlra&aUtioAof a iViyweni of, by sir WilliaaaJonea» 416. 
Pmr Bichard's almanac first published, 101. 
PmtmMier, he is appo'mted in 1753, 136. 
PnnaXk governor, anecdote of, 141,405. 
Pn^en^ Franklin's mo for, 474. 
PrcodhR^, anecdotes of, 104. 
Preface by W. T. Franklin, iv. 

PHMti^tt Dr., testimony of the merits of FrankUa's discoveries lA elec* 
tridty, 210— Uis account of Franklin's demeanor before the privy 
council, 327. 
jfVtMleertn^, proposes to put an end to, 449. 
* JPrng council discuss the Massachusetts* petition. Mr. Wedderburn's 
abuse of Ftaiddin, 337. 
Jhnguit an extensive one, 98. 

3Propmtar9^ tefuse to tax tiieir estactes for public defence, 174-4teBK>n- 
stranoe against, 179— The disputes with great influence en forming 
character of Franklin, and on the revolntioD, 183— disp u tes with, 199. 
Pr^lmit an eloquent one by Franklin, 346. 

Purthne of Dr. Franklin's writings by British mimsters oonfiste^ vi,*viii. 
P^fic ogmn^ Franklin first turns attention to, 109. 

Qnaker^ meeting, the first house Franklin entered at Philadelphia afler 
bis arrival, 35— Anecdote of the, 119— Take an active part in oppoainf 
the rioters denominated Paxton Boys, 198. 

U Index to memoirs: 


:jlialph, the historiazii curious anecdote of, 37— becomes schoolmasterj 4^ 

—obtains a^peniUon for political writing, 167. 
iffeadj Mr., father of Franklin's wife, 28. 
JieNgion, a new one proposed to be establislied, 27. 
JieHffiow creed of Franklin, 76. 
JiemarkSf on ph>p08itions for reOoncilxatTon, 333. 
JSenwrutrance, drawn up against the selfishness of proprietary^ 179. 
Jiewlutioh of congress, proposed introduction to, 
^chari^a, poor* almanac, 101. 
HHichmann^ professor, introduces Franklin's electrical discoveries into Busa 

sia, 216. 
m^ht of British parliament to tax America, 222. 
JR&ch^fimcauli?a eulogium oji Franklin's system of government, 477. 
Mojgt Mons. Le, refutes the abb^ Nollet, 162. 
Aoyal Society of London^ Franklin chosen a member thereof, 165. 
JJttm, Indian orator's apology for drinking, 127. 
Rutkdge, Franklin, and Adams, meet lord HoWe, 361. 

Salarieit Franklin's speech thereon, 469. 

jSandmchy lord, attributes lord Chatham's motion to Franklin, S2& 
Scotland^ Franklin visits, 195. 
Shelbum, American business taken from lordj^ 221. 
Sfurlcy, general, anecdote of, 17St 
Slave Trade, 480. 

Sloan^9, sir Hans, visit to Franklin, 44. 
Smith, 0r., pronounces a funeral oration for franklin, 505. 
iSpanffenberg, bishop, some account of, 154. 
^cUe, the animosity of the EngUsh lords leads them to say Americans 

are of different species from Englishmen, 346. 
SpoStwQod, colonel^ governor of - Virginia, 108. . 
Stiai, the Baron de, letter ou the peace with Sweden and requesting Mn. 

Temple Franklin to be employed at the Swedish court, 430. 
Stamp Act, origin of, 204~<aricature occasioned thereby, 208-^sttt»t 
bance in America, occasioned by passing the, 225-.fir8t objects of, 361 
•^ts repeal, 269. 
SiMi^pe, lord, Franklin vvites to, 3ia 
^rahan, king's printer, fac simile of a letter toj S5&, 
iSM/MiflSr* gi^at feat in the art of, 51. 

f*empevance, importance of, 95. 
Temple, Mr. John, his duel with Mr. Whately, ^Ok 
fenncntt Bev, Gilbert, account of, 130. 


Th»nuoth Charles, secretary to first congress, 1774, ^3, 

Treaty of alliance between France and America, 383. 

Tucker, dean, controversy with Franklin, 261— Reflections thereon, 267. . 

TwmUt at Boston, 225. 

Tyron on vegetable diet. Influence of, 116. 


Virtue, art of, 98. 

Faughan\ Benjamin^ letter to Franklin requesting him to continue hia 

memoirs, 77. 
Ver^^eime*, the count de, receives the American commissioners, 380. 
Vernal* confidence in Franklin, 32* 


Union of the colonies, plan of, proposed at Albany, 137. 

— — fire company founded, 110. 

Vmvernty, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, confers degree of M. A^ 136,. 

■ Yale, Connecticut, do. 136. 

* St Andrews, Scotland, confers degree of L. L. D., 196. 

-^-— -— — Edinburg, Scotland^ do. 196. 

, Oxford, England, do. 196. 

Walpote, hon. Thomas, advises Franklin not to present his protest^ 346— 

letter to Franklin, 347— interview with, 348. 
WoMhrngten^ general, letter of congratulation to Franklin on his retnm 

to America, 463> 
Watch^ the city, established by Franklin, 109. 
iTiKsoR, Dr., draws up an account of FrankKn's discoveries, which ia 

read before the Royal Society of London, 164 
WaU9, printer, Franklin employed by, 43. 
Webb, George, anecdote of, ^5 — another 65. 
Wedderbum, (afterwards lord Loughborough) his abuse of Franklin be- 

fpre the privy council, 227. 
Whaui^9 duel with Mr. Temple of Boston, 250— tlieir (Uspute stated, 252; 
WhUfieldy Rev. George, arrives at Philadelphia, Ill—departs for Georgia^. 

builds an orphan house there, 112— His character vindicated, 113— 

TraitB of character, 114. 
TFi/ton'^, Mr., objections to Franklin's lightning conductors, 392— his 

objections overthrown by Messrs. Henley and Naime, 393. 
^floikuion'* religion of nature, writes a dissertation on, 44. 
Wright, Dr., introduces Franklin's discoveries in philosophy to the Roys]^ 

Society o| London, ]:64t 
Wyndham, sir William, is introduced to, 53, 

fah college, coofbrs degree of M. A^., 1(36, 


The EmUematie Ctid to fUd ia at page 973. 

The Fac Simile newspaper to fold in, 412. 

There are two half aheeto of the aignatiire 3 M-4he first ia from 449 to 

Id thenumherinf of the pages, the printer, instead of numbering the first 

page of 3 <^ 48^ has adTsaoed to 499« whereby there appears to be 

an omiaaioo of ten pages, but ihere iit no omission, the error is in the 




To FFUliam FranMin, Esq., Governor of Mw Jersey, 
Xorih America. 

Twyford, at the Bishop of Si. Asaph's,^ ITTl. 
Bear Son, 
I HAVE ever had a pleasure in obtaining any little anec- 
dotes of my ancestors. You may remember the inquiries I 
made among the remains of my relations, when yoa were with 
mc in England, and the journey I undertook for that purpose. 
Imagining it .may be equally agreeable to you to learn the cir- 
cumstances of my life, many of which you are unacquainted 
with, and expecting the enjoyment of a few weeks' uninter- 
rupted leisure, I sit down to write them. Besides, there are 
some otlier inducements that excite me to this undertaking* 
From the poTerty and obscurity in which I was born, and in 
which I passed my earliest years, I have raised myself to a 
state of affluence and some degree of celebrity in the world. 
As constant good fortune has accompanied me even to an ad- 
vanced period of life, my posterity will perhaps be desirous 
of learning the means, which I employed, and which, thanks 
to Providence, so well succeeded with me. They may also 
deem them fit to be imitated, should any of them find them- 

• Dr. Shiplej. 

Vol. I. B 


selves in similar circumstances. This good Tortune, when I 
reflect on it, which is frequently the case, has induced me 
sometimes to^say, that if it were left to my choice, 1 should 
have no objection to go over the same life from its beginning 
to the end: requesting only the advantage authors have, of 
correcting in a second edition the faults of the firat So would 
I also wish to change some incidents of it for others vfv^^re fa- 
vorable. Notwithstanding, if this condition was denied, I 
should stOl iu;cept the offer of re-commencing the same life. 
But as this repetition is not to be expected, that which resem- 
bles most living one's life over again, seems to be to recall 
all the circumstances of it ; and to render this remembrance 
more durable to record them in writing. In thus employing 
myself I shall yield to the inclination so natural to old men, 
of talking of themselves and their own actions; and I shall 
indulge it without being tiresome to those, who, from respect 
to my age, might conceive themselves obliged to listen to me, 
since they will be always free to read me or not. And lastly 
(1 may as well confess it, as the denial of it would be belier- 
ei| by nobody) I shall perhaps not a little gratify my own 
vanity. Indeed, I never heard or saw the introductory words 
<< Without vanity I may say," &c. but some vain thing imme- 
diately followed. Most people dislike vanity in others, what- 
ever share they have of it themselves, but I give it fair quar- 
ter» wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often 
productive of good to the possessor, and to others who are 
within his sphere of action : and therefore, in many cases, it 
would not be altogether absurd, if a man were to thank God 
for his vanity among the other comforts of life. 

And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all hu-> 
mility to acknowledge that I attribute the mentioned happi- 
pess of my past life to his divine providence, which led me 
to the means I used, and gave the success. My belief of this 
induces me to hope, though I must not j^re^ine, that the same 
goodness will still be exercised towards me, in continuing thai 
happiness or enabling me to bear a fatal reverse, which I may 
experience as others have done; the complexion of my future 

fortuae being knowA to him only, in whose power H id to 
bless us, even in our afflictions. 

Soflne notes, one of my uncles (who had the same ciu^iosty 
-in collecting family anecdotes) once put into my hands, fur- 
bished tn^ with sereral particulars relative taonr ancestors. 
From these notes I learnt that they lived in the same village, 
Ecton in Northamptonshire, on a freehold of about thirty 
acres, for at least thf^e hundred years, and how much longer 
could not be ascertained.^ 

This small estate would not have sufficed for their mainte- 
nance withottt the business ofa smith, which had continued in 
the family down to my uncle's time, the eldest son being 
idwaysbrougfatup to that, employment I a custom which be 
I ■ ' I * ■■ ■ I I ■ I III I 1 1 fl y 

^ Periupfl from the time, when the name of Frakklin/ which b^ore 
tras the nain^ of an order of people, was assumed by them for a ntmame^ 
when otbera took sumamea aU orer the kingdom. 

As a proof that Fbavkliit was anciently the common name of an or- 
der or rank in Rngland, see Judge Fortescue, DelautUbua LegumAngUmf 
written about the year 1412, in which is the following passage, to show 
that good juries might easily be -formed in any part of England. 

" Begio etiam iUa, ita reapersa refertaque est p999e$wrib%u terrantm et 
i^grorom» quod in ea, villula tarn parra reperiri non potent, in qua non 
^st mlesy anmg-er, vel pater-faroilias, qMalis ibidem Framkleri vulgariter 
jkuncapatur, mag^is ditatns possessionibus, nee non libere tenentes et alii 
waUcH plurimi, suis patfimoniis sufBcientes ad faciendum juratam, in for- 
na pnenotata. 

^ BfoMorer, the same country is so filled and reprenished with landed 
mentte, that therein so small a thorpe cannot be found wherein dweleth' 
not A knight, an esquire, or such a householder, as is there commonly 
taiMeA a FrtaikHnf enriched witli great possessions; and also other free« 
helden and msny yeAmen able fbr their livelihoodes to make a jury in 
Ibrm aibr«m«nt2oned/' — {Old Tmnatati&n.) 

Chaiieer too calls his country gentleman, a Prankliii; and after describ* 
Bii|p his good bduitekeeping, thus characterises him : 

^•This worthy Franklin bore a parse of silk, 

Fil'd t« his girdle. White as morning milk. 

Knight of the 6hire, first Justice at th' Assiztf, 

To b«lp the poor, the doubtful to Alrise. 

In all Employments, generous, just, he proved ; 

BenoWtt'd for eoort^rsy, by all belored. 


and my father followed with regard to their eldest Bons^ 
When I searched the registers at Eeianf I found an account 
of their marriages and burials from the year 1555 only, as 
the registers kept did not commence previous thereto. I how- 
ever learnt from it, that I was the youngest son of the young-, 
est son for five generations back. My grandfather Thomas, 
who was bom 1598 lived at Ecton, till he was too old to con- 
tinue his business, when he retired to Banbury in Oxford- 
shire, to the house of liis son John, with whom my father 
served an apprenticeship. There my uncle died and lies bu- 
ried. We saw his grave-stone in 1758. His eldest son Thomas 
lived in the house at Ecton, and left it with the land to his 
only daughter, who with her husband, one Fisher of Welling- 
borough, sold it to Mr. Isted now lord of the manor there. 
My grandfather had four sons, who grew up; viz. Thomas, 
John, Benjamin, and Josiah. Being at a distance from my 
papers, I will give you what account I can of them from 
memory: and if my papers are not lost in my absence, you 
will find among them many more particulars.^^ 
»"'' ' ' ■" ■< 

* The foUowin^ is a copy of an original letter, which is in the hands of 
the publisher in Philadelphia; it is a curious rclique, and was found 
among the wreck of Dr. Fran1din-*s papers, several years ago. 

From Jonah to B, Franklin. 
Loving Sok. 

AS to the original of our name there is various opinions;, some say 
vthat it came from a sort of title of which a book, that you bought when 
here, gives a lively account. Some think we are of a French extract, 
which was formerly called Franks; some of a free line; a line free from 
that vassalage which was common to subjects in days of old : some from 
a bird of long red legs. Your lincle Benjamin made inquiry of one skilled 
in heraldry, who told him there'is two coaU of armour, one belonging to 
the Franklins of tlie north, and one to the Franklins of the west. How- 
ever our circumstances have been such as that it hath hardly been worth 
while to concern ourselves much about these tilings, any farther than to 
tickle the fancy a little. 

The first that I can give account of, is my great grand father, as it wa« 
a custom in those days among young men too many times to goe to seek 
their fortune, and in his travels he went upon liking to a taylor; but he 


Thomas, my eldest uncle, was bred a smith under bis Ta- 
tTier, but -being ingenious, and encouraged in learning, (as 
all my brothers were) by an esquire Palmer, then the princi- 
pal inhabitant of that pai*ish^ he qualified himself for the bar, 
and became a considerable man in the county; was chief 

kept such a stingy house, that he left him and travelled farther, and 
came to a smith's house, and coming on a fasting day, being in popish 
timesy he did not like there the first day ; the next morning the serraitt 
'traa called up at five in the morning, but after a little time came a good 
toast and good beer, and he found good housekeeping there; he served 
and learned the trade of a smith. 

In queen Mary*s days, either his wife, or my grandmother* by father's 
side, informed my father that they kept their bible fastened under the top 
of a joint-stool that they might turn up the book and read in the Mble, 
that when^ any body came to the dore they turned up tlie stool for fear of 
the aparitor, for if it was discovered, they would be in hazard of their 
lives. My grandfather was a smith also, and settled at Eton in Northamp- 
tonshire, and he was imprisoned a year and a day-on suspicion of his be- 
ing the author of some poetry that touched the character of some great 
man. He had only one son and one daughter; my gp-andfather's name vts 
Henry, my father's name was Thomas, my mother's name was Jane. My 
father was bom at Ecton or Eton, Northamptonshire, on the 18th of Oc- 
tober, 1498; married to Miss Jane White, niece to Coll White, of Banbu- 
ry, and died in the 84th year of his age. There was nine children of us 
who were happy in our parents, who took g^eat care by their instmctions 
and pious example to breed us up in a religious way. My eldest brother 
bad but one child, which was maiTied to one Mr. Fisher, at Wallingbo- 
rotigh, in Northamptonshire. The town was lately burnt do\vn, and whether 
she was a suflerer or not I cannot tell, or whether she be living or not 
Her father dyed worth fifteen hundred pounds, but what her circum- 
stances are now I know not. She hath no child. If you by the freedom of 
your office, makes it more likely to convey a letter to her, it would be 
acceptable to me. There is also children of brother John and sister Mor- 
ris, but I bear nothing from them, and they write not to me, so that I know 

not whereto findtliem. I have been again to about seeing but 

have mist of being informed. We received yours, and arc glad to hear 
poor Jammy is recovered so well. Son John received the letter, but is so 
busy just now that he cannot write you an answer, but will do the best he 

, Now with hearty love to, and prayer for you all, I rest your aflection- 
ate father. 
m^vn^ May 26, 1739. JOSIAII FRANKUN. 


moter of rU public-spirifed etitrrprizes for the county or 
town of Nortbampton, as well as of his own village, of which 
many instances were related of him : and he was much taken 
notice of, and patronized by lord Halifax. He died in 170Z, 
the 6th of January; four years to a day before I was bonu 
The recital which some elderly peraons made to us of bis 
character, I remember, struck you as something exti*aordi- 
Aary> from its similarity with what you knew of me. ,« Had 
he died,'' said you, «< four years later, on the same day, one 
might have supposed a transmigration.'* John, my next un* 
cle, was bred a dyer, I believe of wool. Benjamin was bred 
a silk dyer, serving an apprenticeship in London. Ete was 
an ingenious man. I remember, when I was a boy, be came . 
to my father's in Boston, and resided in the bouse with us 
for several years. There was always a particular affection 
between my fattier and him, and I was u\s godson. He lived 
to a great age. He left behind him two quarto volumes of 
manuscript, of his own poetry, con-^isting of fugitive pieces 
addressed to his ftiends. He had invented a short-band of bis 
own, which he taught me, but not having practised it, I havo 
now forgotten it. He was very pious, and an assiduous atten- 
dant at the sermons of the best preachers, which he reduced 
to writing according to liis method, and bad thus collected 
several volumes of them. He was also a good deal of a poli- 
tician; too much so, perhaps for his station. There fell lately 
into my hands in London, a collection he made of all the prin- 
cipal political pamphlets relating to public aflTairs, from the 
year 1641 to 1717; many of the volumes are wanting, as ap^ 
pears by their numbering, but tliere still remains eight vo- 
lumes in folio, and twenty in quarto and in octavo. A dealer 
in old books had met with them, and kno* ing me by name, 
having bought books of him, he brou.u:ht them to roe. It would 
appear that my uncle must have left them here, when be w^ftt 
to America, which was about fifty years ago. I found several 
of his notes in the margins. His grandson, Samuel Franklin^ 
is still living in Boston. 
Ou^ humble family early embraced the reformed religion. 

Our forefathers contioaed Protestauta tlirougb Uie reign of 
ll^iryj wben tht^j were aom^times in danger of perseeiitiQiif 
OB ^pcoimt of tlieir zeal against popery. Tliey hftd an £«g-* 
liab bibte^ and to conceal it, and place it io safety, it wa9 fa^'** 
t^ned open with tapes under and within the cover of a joint 
stool. When my great grandfather wished to read it to his 
family^ be plared the joint stool on his knees, and then turn- 
ed oTcr the leaves under the tapes. One of the children stood 
at the door to give notice if lie saw the appaiitor €on|ing» 
wko was an officer of the spiritual court. In that case the 
atool was turned down again upon its feet, when the bible re* 
mainetf concealed under it as before. This anecdote I had 
from unde Benjamin. The family continued all of the chqi*ch 
of England, till about the end of Charles II. reign, when 
some of the ministers that had been outed for their noncon- 
formity, holding conventicles in Northamptonshire, my undo 
Benjamin and my father Josiah adhered to them, and so con- 
tinued all their lives: the rest of the family remained with 
the episcopal church. 

My father married young, and carried his wife with three 
children to New England, about 1682. The conventicles be^ 
ing at that time forbidden by law, and frequently disturbed 
is their meetings, some considerable men of bis acquaintance 
determined to go to that country, and he was prevailed with 
to accompany them thither, where they expected to enjoy the 
axercise of their religion with freedom. By the same wife 
my father had four children more born there, and by a second 
wife ten others; in M seventeen; of which I remember to 
baTe seen thirteen sitting together at his table, who all grew 
up to years of maturity, and were married : I was the young- 
est son, and the youngest of all except two daughters. I was 
bom in Boston in New England. My mother, the second 
wife of my father, was Abiah Folger, daughter of Peter- FoU 
ger, one of the first settlers of New England; of whom hon- 
orable mention is made by Cotton Mather, in his ecclesiasti- 
cal history of that country, entitled Mugnalia ChrisH ^mm- 
eanOf as <« a goodly and leanied Englishmi^n,'' if I remem* 


ber the words rightly. I was ioforined he wrote sercral small . 
occasional works^ but only one of them was printed, which I 
remember to have seen several years since. It was written in 
1675. It was in familiar verse, according to the taate of the 
times and people; and addressed to the government there. It 
asserts the liberty of conscience, in behalf of the Anabi^ 
tists, the Quakers, and other sectarians, that had been perse* 
cuted. He attributes to this persecution the Indian wars, ami 
otlier calamities that had befallen the country; i*cgarding 
theiA as^o many judgments of God, to punish so heinous an 
offence, so contrary to charity. This piece appeared to me a9 
written with manly freedom and a pleasing simplicity. The 
six last lines I remember, but have forgotten the preceding 
ones of the stanza; the purpose of them was, that his cen- 
sures proceeded from good wiU, and thei'efore he would be 
known to be the author. 

" Because to be a libeller (said he) 

I hate it with my heart; 
From Sherburru^ town, where no I dwell. 

My name I do put here; 
"Without offence, your real friend, — 

It is Peter Folgicr. 

My elder brothers were all put apprentices to different 
trades. I was put to the grammar school at eight years of 
age, my father intending to devote me, as tlie tythe of his 
sons, to the service of the church. My early readiness in 
learning to read (which must have been very early, and I da 
not remember when I could not read) and the opinion, of all 
my friends, that I should certainly make a good scholar, en- 
couraged him in this purpose of his. My uncle Benjamin, too, 
approved of it, and proposed to give me his short-band 
volumes of sermons to set up with, if I would learn short- 

I continued however at th6 grammar sc\)ool rather less 
than a year, though in that time I had risen gradually from 

■ ' ' ■ I 'I ' ■' I '' 

" Sherburne iu the islaijd of Nantucket." 

BfiKJ4MIir JfBAHKJJy, 9 

«e miMe of the dass of that year, to be at the head of ^ 
flame claasy and was renioTed ialo the next claas, whence I 
waa to be placed in the third at the end of the year. But mj 
father, borthened with a mimerona family, was unabley with- 
out iftconTenience, to support the expense of a collcige educa- 
tion^ considering moreoTcr, as he aaid to one of his friends 
in my presence, the little encouragement that line of life af- 
forded to those educated for it, he gate up his first intentions, 
took me from the grammar schod, and sent me to a pcbool 
for writing and arithmetic, kept by a tlien Cunous man, Mr* 
Qeorg^ Brgwnwell. He was a skilful master, and successful 
in bis profession, employing the mildest and most encourag- 
ing methods^ Under him I learnt to write a good hand pretty 
soon, but failed entirely in arithmetic. At ten years oM, I 
was taken to help my father in his business of a tallow-chan- 
dkr and soap-boiler, a business to which he was not bred, 
but had assumed on his arrival in New England, because 
be found that his dying trade, being in little request, would 
not maintain his family. Accordingly, I was employed in cut- 
ting the wick for the candles, filling the molds for cast can- 
dles, attending the shop, going of errands, &c* 

I disliked the trade, and had a strong inclination to go to 
«ea,bot my father declared against it; but residing near the 
'water, I was much in it and on it. I learnt to swim well, an.d 
lo manage boats; and when embarked with other boys, I was 
commonly allowed to govern, especially in any case of diffi- 
culty; and upon other occasions, I was generally the leader 
among the boys, and sometimes led tliem into scrapes, of 
Wfhich I will mention an instance, as it shews an early pro- 
jecting public spirit, though not then justly conducted* 

There was a salt marsh which bounded part of the Diill- 
pond, on the edge of which at high water we used to stand to 
fisb for minnows; by much trampling we had made it a mjpre 
quagmire. My proposal was to build a wharf there for us to 
stand upon, and I shewed my comrades a large heap of stones, 
w/bidb were intended for a new house near the marsb, and 
which would very wdl suit our purpose. Accordingly, in the 

Yoifc I. C 

lb Sftl^MOIRS OF 

eventngf when the workmen were gone home, I assembled m 
number of my playfellows^ and we worked diligently like so 
many emmets^ sometimes two or three to a stonef till we 
had brought them all to make onr little wharf. The next 
morning the workmen were surprised^ on missing the stones 
Which formed our wharf; inquii^ was made after the authors 
of this transfer, we were discovered, complained of, and cor- 
rected by our fathers; and though I demonstrated the utflHgr 
of our work, mine convinced me that, that "which ivas fl«t 
tmiy hontst could not be trvly usefuL 

I suppose you may like to know what kind of a man my 
father was. He had an excellent constitution, was of a mid- 
dle stature, well set, and very strong: he could draw pretti-* 
)y, was a little skilled in music; his voice was sonorous and 
agreeable, so that when he played on his violin and sung 
withal, as he was accustomed to do after the business of the 
day was over, it was extremely agreeable to hear. He had 
some knowledge of mechanics, and on occasion was very 
handy with other tradesmen's tools; but his great excellence 
was his sound understanding and solid- judgment in pruden- 
tial matters, both in private and public affairs. It is true he 
was never employed in the latter, the numerous family he 
had to educate, and the strictness of his circumstances keep- 
ing him close to his trade: but I remember well his being 
frequently visited by leading men, who consulted him for his 
opinion in public affairs, and those of the church he belonged 
to, and who shewed great respect for his judgment and ad- 
vice: he was also much consulted by private persons about 
flieir affairs, when any difficulty occurred; and frequently 
chosen an arbitrator between contending parties. At his table 
he liked to have, as often as he could, some sensible friend 
or neighbor to converse with, and always took care to start 
some ingenious or useful topic for discourse, which might 
tend to improve the minds of his children. By this means he 
turned our attention to what was good, just, and prudent, in 
the conduct of life; and little or no notice was ever taken of 
wliat related to the victuals on the table, whether it was well 

tfp iD dresged, in or out of season^ of good or bad flavor^ 
preferable or iiifertor to this or that other thing of the kind, 
80 Aat I was brought up in such a perfect inattention to those 
mnttera, as to be quite indifferent as to what kind of food was 
«et before me. Indeed I am so unobservant of it, that to this 
day I can scarce tell a few t.onrs after dinner of what dishes 
it consisted. This has been a great conrenience to me in tra- 
vdlingy where mj companions have been sometimes very un- 
happy for want of a suitable gratification of their more deli- 
cate because better instructed tastes and appetites. 

My mother had likewise an excellent constitution: she 
sackl^ all her ten children. I never knew either my father 
or mother to have any sickness, but that of which they died — 
he at 89 and she at 85 years of age. They lie buried together 
at Boston, where 1 some years since placed a marble over 
their grave, with this inscription : 

Josiaih Franklin 

and ^ 

Abiah his wife 

lie here interred. 

They lived lovingly together in wedlock 

fifty-five years. 

And without an estate, or any gainful employment 

By constant labor and honest industry, 

maintained a large family comfortably. 

And brought up thirteen children and seven grandchildren 


From this instaoce, reader^ 

Be encouraged to diligence in thy calling. 

And distrust not Providence. 

H<3 Was a pious and prudent man ; 

She a discreet and virtuous "oronan. 

Their youngest son. 

In filial regard to their memory'. 

Places this stone. 

J. F. heTTi 1655, died 1744, JEUs 89. 

A', y. .**^' 166r, 1752, -.^^^85. 

B7 my ramUing digressions, I perceive myself to be 
grown bld» I used to write more methodically. But one does 

1£ BUfiMXlinS t>F 

not AresB. fi»* i^riTate company as for a public bdl. Pefiia|» 
U to only negligence. 

To return: I continued thus employeii in my father'aboai- 
ness ht two years, that is till I was twelve years old; and 
my brother John, who was bred to that business, hanag teft 
my father, married and set up for himself at Rhode Island, 
there was erery appearance that I was destined to supply his 
place, and become a taOow^chandler. But my dislike to the 
trade continuing^ my fotfaer had apprehensions, that if he did 
not put me to one more agreeable, I should « break loose and 

' go to sea, as my brother Josiah had done, to his great vexa-- 
tioii* In consequence he took me to walk vrith him, and see 
joiners, brickfaLyera, turners, braziers, &c. at their work, that 
he m%ht observe my inclination, and endeavor to fix it on some 
trade or profession that would keep me on land. It has ever 
nnce been a pleasure ta me to see good workmen handle their 
tools; and it has been often useful to me to have learnt so 
much by it as to be able to do some trifling jobs in the house, 
when a workman was not at hand, and to construct little ma- 
chines for my experiments, at the moment when the inten- 
tion of making them was warm in my mind. My father 
determined at last for the cutler's trade, and placed me for 
some days on trial with Samuel, son to my uncle Benjamin, 
who was bred to that trade in London, and had just establish- 
ed himself in Boston. But the sum he exacted as a fee for 
my apprenticeship displeased my father, and I was taken 
home again. From ray infancy I was passionately fond of 
reading, and all the money that came into my hands was laid 
out in the purchasing of books. I was very fond of voyages* 
My first acquisition was Bunyan*$ works in separate little 

. volumes. I afterwards sold them to enable me to buy JL JBur* 
ton^B Historical OoUeeiions; they were small chapmen's books, 
and cheap, 40 volumes in all. My father's little librai7 ^^' 
sisted chiefly of books in polemic divinity, most of which I 
read. I have often regretted, that at a time when I had such 
a thifstfor knowledge, more proper books had not fallen into 
my way, since it was resolved I shoidd not be bred to divini- 


ty; there was uaumg them Plutarch's lives, which I read 
abaadantly, and I still think that time spent to great advan* 
U^. There was also a book of Be Fee% called an Essay o» 
Fntjeds^ uid another of Dr. JHoilut^^ called an Es$a^ to do 
goodf which perhaps gave me a turn of thiakii^ that had an 
iailuence on some of the principal future events of injr lifin. 

This bookish inclination at length determined my father to 
aoake me a printer though he had already one son (James) 
of that profession. In 1717 my brother James returned frott 
£ngland with a press and letters to set up his business in 
Boston. I liked it much better than that of my father, but 
Still bad an hankering for the sea. To prevent the apprehend- 
ed effect of such an inclination, my father was impatient to 
bare me bound to my brother. I stood out some time, but at 
last was persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was 
yet but twelve years old. I was to serve as an apprentice till 
I was twenty-one years of age, only I was to be allowed jour- 
neyman's, wages during the last year. In a little time I made 
a great progress in the business, and became a useful hand to 
iny brother. I now had access to better books. An acquaint* 
ance with the apprentices of booksellers, enabled me some- 
times to borrow a small one, which I was careful to return 
soon and clean. Often I sat up in my chamber the greatest 
part of the night, when the book wasborrowed in the evening 
to be returned in the morning, lest it should be found missing. 
After some time a merchant, an ingenious sensible man, Mr. 
Matthew Adams, who had a pretty coUection of books, fre- 
-quoted our printing office, took notice of me, and invited me 
to see his library, and very kindly proposed to lend me such 
books as I chose to read. I now took a strong inclination for 
poetiy, and wrote some little pieces; my brother mxfSfomg it 
aught turn to account, encouraged me, and induced me to 
compose ^two occasional ballads. One was called the ligld- 
kmsc tragedfiff and contained an account of the shipwreck of 
captain WorthOake, with his two daqghters: the other was a 
sailor^ song, on the taking of tlie fiunous Teach (or Black- 
boaid) thepimte. They were wretched stuffy in ^reet ballad 


style J and when they n^ere printed, my brotiier sent me ahoat 
the towi| to sell them. The first sold prodigiously^ the event 
Iieing; recent, and having made a great noise. This success 
flattered my vanity, but my father discouraged me, by criti- 
cising my performances, and telling me, verse malcers were 
generally beggars. Thus I escaped being a poet, and proba- 
bly a very bad one: but as prose writing has been of great 
use to me in the course of my life, and was a principal means 
of my advancement, I shall tell you how in such a situation, 
I acquired what little ability I may" be supposed to have in 
that way. * 

There was another bookish lad in the town, John Collins 
by name, with whom I was intimately acquainted. We some- 
times disputed, and very fond we were of argument, and 
very desirous of confuting one aitfbtber, which disputatious 
turn, by the way, is apt to become a very bad habit, making 
people often extremely disagreeable in company, by the con- 
tradiction that is necessary to bring it into practice; and 
thence besides souring and spoiling tlio conversation, it is 
productive of disgusts and perhaps enmities with those who 
may have occasion for friendship. I had caught this by read- 
ing my father's books of disputes on religion. Persons of good 
sense, I have since observed, seldom fall into it, except law- 
yers, university men, and j;enera1Iy men of all sorts who 
have been bred at Edinburg. A question was once some how 
or other started, between Collins and me, on the propriety of 
educi&ting the female sex in learning, and their abilities for 
study. He was of opinion that it was improper, and that they 
were naturally unequal to it. I took the contrary side, per- 
haps for dispute sake. He was naturaUy more eloquent, bar- 
ing a greater plenty of words; and sometimes as I thought I 
wad vanquished mbre by his fluency than by the strength of 
his reasons. As we parted without settling the point, and 
were not to see one another again for some time, I sat down 
to put my arguments in writing, which I copied fair and sent 
to him. He answered, and I replied. Three or four letters on 
a dide had passed^ when my father happened to find my pa* 

pers and read them. Without entering into the flubjoct in dia^ 
l^tes, lie took occasion to tallc to me about my manner of 
writing; observed that though I had the advantage of mj an* 
tagonist in correct spelling and pointing* (which be Attributed 
to the printing house) I fell far short in elegance of exprea- 
aion» in method* and perspicuity, of which he convinced me 
by several instances. I saw the justice of his remarks* and 
thence grew more attentive to my manner of writing* and 
determined to endeavor to improve my style. 

About this time I met with an odd volume of the Speota* 
tor. I had never before seen any of them. I bought it* read 
it over and over* and was much delighted with it I thought 
the writing excellent* and wished if possible to imitate it 
With that view I took some of the papers* and making short 
hints of the sentiments in each sentence* laid them by a few 
days* and then without looking at the book* tried to complete 
the papers again* by expressing each hinted sentiment at 
length and a^fuUy as it had been expressed before in any 
nnitable words that should occur to me. Then I compared 
my Spectator with the original* discovered some of my faults* 
and corrected them. But I found I wanted a stock of words* 
OP a readiness in recollecting and using them* which I thought 
I should have acquired before that time* if I had gone on mak' 
ing yerses; since the continual search for words of the same^ 
import* but of different lengths* to suif the measure* or of 
different sounds for the rhyme* would have laid me under a 
constant necessity of searching for variety* and also have 
tended to fix that variety in my mind* and make me master 
of it Therefore I took some of the tales in the Spectator* and 
tamed them into verse: and after a time* when I had pretty 
well forgotten the prose* turned them back again. I also some- 
times jumbled my collection of hints into confusion* and after 
noroe weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order* 
before I began to form the full sentences and complete the 
subject. This was to teach me method in the arrangement of 
the thoughts. By comparing my work with the original* I dis- 
covered many faults and corrected tbem^ but I sometimes had 


the pleasure to fancji that in particalars of smaH coDseqnence 
I had been fortun;:{;e enough to improve the method or the 
language^ and this encouraged me to think, that I might in 
time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was w* 
tremel J ambitious. The time I alloted for writing exercises 
and for reading, was at night, or before worb: began in the 
morning, or on Sundaj, when I contrived to be in the print* 
ing house, avoiding as much as I could, the constant atten* 
dance at public worship, which my father used to exact froiD 
me when I was under his care, and which I still continued to 
consider as a duty, though I could not afford time to prac- 
tise it ' ^ 

When about sixteen years of age, I happened to meet with 
another book, written by one Tryon recommending a vegeta- 
ble diet I determined to go into it. My brother being yet 
unmarried, did not keep house, but boarded himself and his 
apprentices in another family. My refusing to eat flesh occa- 
sioned an inconvenience, and I was frequently chid for my 
singularity. I made myself acquainted with Tryon's manner 
of preparing some of his dishes, such as boUing potatoes or 
rice, making hasty pudding, and a few others, and then pro- 
posed to my brother, if he would g^ve me weekly half the 
money he paid for my board, I would board myself. He in- 
stantly agreed to it, and I presently found that I could save 
half what he paid nie. 

This was an additional fund for buying of books. But I 
had another advantage in it My brother and tlie rest going 
from the printing office to their meals, I remained there alone; 
and dispatching presently my light repast, which was often 
no more than a biscuit or a slice of bread and a handful of 
raisins, a tart from the pastry cook's, and a glass of water, bad 
the rest of the time till their return for study, in which I 
made the greater progress, from that greater clearness of 
head and quick apprehension, which generally attends tem- 
perance in eating and drinking. 

Now it was, that being on some occasion made ashamed of 
my ignorance in figures, which I had twice failed learning 


when at scliooh I took Cocker^s book on aritlimedc, and went 
through the whole by inyseir with the greatest ease. I also 
read Sellers and Siumy^s book on navigation^ which made 
me acquainted with the little geometry it contained; but I 
never proceeded far in that science. I i*ead about this timo 
Locke on the Human Understanding, ^nd the Jlrt of Thinking 
by Mesara. du Port Royal. 

While I was intent on improving my language, I met with 
an English grammar, (I think it was Greenwood's) having 
at the end of it two little sketches, on the arts of rhetoric 
and logic, the latter finishing with a dispute in the Socratic 
nietliod; and soon after I procured Xenophon's Memorable 
things of Socrates, wherein there are many examples of the 
same method. I was charmed by it, adopted it, di*upt my ab- 
rupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put on tho 
humble inquirer; and being then, from reading Sliqftesbury 
and Collins^ made a doubter, as I already was in.many points 
of our religious doctrines, I found this method the safest for 
myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used 
it; therefore I took delight in it, practised it continually, and 
grew very artful and expert in drawing people, even of Su- 
perior knowledge, into concessions, the consequences of which 
they did not foresee; entangling them in difficulties, out of 
vrhich they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining 
victories^ that neither myself nor my cause always deserved. 
I continued this method some few years, but gradually left it^ 
retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of 
modest diffidence; never using, when I advanced any thing 
that may possibly be disputed, the word certainly — undanbtedly^ 
or any other that gave the air of positiveuess to an opinion; 
bat rather say I conceivCf or apprehend a thing to be so and so; 
it appears to me; or I should not think it so, for such and such 
reasons; or I imagine it to be so; or i^ is so, if I am not mis- 
taketu This habit I believe has been of great advantage to 
flw, when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and 
persuade men into measures that I have been from time to 

YoImI. D 


time engaged in promoting; and as {he chief ends of conver* 
sation are to inform, or to be informed, to pitase or to permade; 
^ I wish well meaning and sensible men would not lessen their 
power of doing good by a positive assuming manner that sel- 
dom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition, and to defeat 
most of those purposes for which speech was given to us. 

In fact if you wish to instruct others, a positive and dog- 
matical manner in advancing your sentiments may occasion 
opposition and prevent a candid attention. If you desire im- 
provement from others you should not at the same time express 
yourself fixed in your present opinions; modest and sensible 
men who do not love disputation will leave you undisturbed in 
the possession of your erroi*s. In adopting such a manner, 
you can seldom expect to please your hearers, or obtain the 
concurrence you desire. Pope judiciously observes. 
Men must be taught u if you taught them not, 
And things unknown proposed as things forgot. 
He also recommends it to us. 

To speak tho* sure, with seeming diffidence. 
And he might have joined with this line, that which he has 
coupled with another, I think less properly. 

For want of modesty is want of sense. 

If you ask, why less properly, I must repeat the lines^ 

Immodest words admit of no defence. 
For want of modesty is want of sense. 

Now is not the want of sense (where a man is so unfortunate 
as to want it) some apology for his want of modesty? and 
would not the lines stand more justly* thus? 

Immodest words admit but thit dtfenee, 
That want of tnodetiy is want of sense. 

This however, I should submit to better judgments. 

My brother had in 1720 or SI, began to print a newspaper. 
It was the second that appeared in America, and was Cidled 
the JVcw EngUmd Courant. The only one before it, was the 
Boston J>11bws Letter. I remember his being dissuaded by some 
of his friends from the undertaking, as not likely to succeed^ 


one newspaper being in their judgment, enough for America. 
At this time (im) there are not less ihsin five-and-twentyj^ 
He went on however, with the undertaking; I was employed 
to earry the papers to the customers, after having worked in 
composing the types and printing off the sheets. He had some 
ingenious men among his Friends, who amused themselves by 
writing little pieces for this paper, which gained it credit, 
and made it more in demand, and these gentlemen often visit- 
ed us. 

Hearing their conversations and their accounts of the ap- 
probation their papers were received with, I was excited to 
try my hand among them : but being still a boy, and sus- 
pecting that my brother would object to printing any thing 
of mine in his paper, if he knew it to be mine, I-contrived to 
disguise my hand, and writing an anonymous paper, I put it 
at night under the door of the printing house. It was found 
in the morning, and communicated to his writing friends, 
when they called in as usual. They read it, commented on it 
in my hearing, and I had the exquisite pleasure of finding it ^ 
had met with their approbation, and that in their different 
guesses at the author, none were named but men of some cha- 
racter among us for learning and ingenuity. I suppose that 
I was rather lucky in my judges, and they were not really 
so very good as I then believed them to be. 

Encouraged howevw by this attempt I wrote and sent in 
the same way to the press several other pieces, that were 
^equally approved^ and I kept my secret till all my fund of 
sense for such performances was exhausted, and then disco- 
vered it, when I began to be considered with a little more at- 
tention by my brother's acquaintance. However, that did not 
quite please him, as he thought it tended to make me too vain. 
This might be one occasion of the differences we began to 
have about this time. Though a brother, he considered him- 
self as my master, and me as his apprentice, and accordin,c:2y 
expected the same services from me as he would from another, 
while I thought be degraded me too much in some he required 

* The number in 1817, exceeds 400. 


of me, who from a brother required more indulgence. Our 
disputes were often brought before our father, and I fancy I 
^as either generaHy in the right or else a better pleader, be* 
cause the judgment was generally in my faror. But .my bro- 
ther was passionate and had olten beaten me, which I took 
extremely amiss ^ and thinking my apprenticeship very tedi- 
ous, I was continually wishing for some opportunity of short- 
ening it, which at length offered in a manner unexpected.. 

Perhaps the harsh and tyrannical treatment of me, might 
be a means of impressing me with the aversion to arbitrary 
power, that has stuck to me through my whole life. 

One of the pieces in our newspaper, on some political point, 
which I have now forgotten, gave offence to the assembly, 
lie was takeo up, censured, and imprisoned for a month, by 
the speaker's warrant, I suppose because he would not disco- 
ver the author. I too was taken up and examined before the 
council; but tliough I did not give them any satisfaction, 
they contented themselves with admonishing me and dismiss- 
ed me, considering me perhaps as an apprentice, who was 
bound to keep his master's secrets. 

During my brother's confinement, which I resented a good 
deal, notwithstanding our differences, I had the management 
of the paper; and I made bold to give our rulers some rubs 
in it, which my brother took very kindly, while others began 
to consider me in an unfavorable light, as a youth that had a 
turn for libelling and satire. My brother's discharge was ac- 
companied with an order (and a very odd one) that «• James 
Franklin should no longer print the newspaper called the 
New England Courant." 

On a consultation held in tmr printing office amongst his 
friends, what he should do in this conjuncture, it was pro- 
posed to elude the order, by changing the name of the paper; 
liut my brother seeing inconveniences in this, came to a con- 
clusion, as a better way, to let the paper in future be printed 
in the name of Benjamin Franklin: and in order to avoid 
the censure of the assembly that might fall on him, as still 
printing it by his apprentice, he contrived and consented that 


IDT old indenture should be returned to me, with a discharge 
on the back of it, to show in case of necessity, and in order 
to secure to him the benefit of my service, I should sign new 
indentures for the n^mainder of my time, which was to be 
kept private. A very flimsy scheme it was; however, it was 
immediately executed, and the paper was printed accordingly 
onder my name fur several months. At length a fi-esh differ* 
rnce arising between my brother and me, I took upon me to 
assert my freedom ; presuming that he would not ventufe ^o 
produce the new indentures. It was not fair in me to take 
this advantage, and this I therefore reckon as one of the first 
errata it( my life; but the unfairness of it weighed little with 
iiie, when under the impressions of resentment for the blows 
his passion too often urged him to bestow upon me: though 
he was otherwise not an illnatured man: perhaps I was too 
saucy and provoking. 

When he found I would leave him, he took rare to prevent 
my getting employment in any 'other printing house in town, 
by going round and speaking to every master, who accord* 
in^y refused to give me work. I then thought of going to 
New York, as the nearest place where tliere was a printei^^; 
and I was rather inclined to leave Boston, when I reflected 
that I had already made myself a little obnoxious to the go- 
vcmine; party, and from the arbitrary proceedings of the as- 
sembly in my brother's case, it was likely I might, if I staid, 
soon bring myself into scrapes; and further that my indiscreet 
disputations about religion began to make me pointed at 
with horror, by good people, as an infidel or atheist. I con- 
cluded therefore to remove to New fork; but my father now 
siding with my brother, I was sensible that if I attempted to 
go openly, means would be used to prevent me. My friend 
C/ollins, therefore undertook to manage my flight. He agreed 
with the captain of a New York sloop to take me, under pre- 
tence of my being a young man of his acquaintance that 
had an intrigue witli a girl of bad character, whose parents 
would compel me to marry her ; and that I could neither ap- 
pear or come away publicly. I sold my books to raise a little 


money, was taken on board the sloop privately, had a fair 
windy and in three days, found myself at New York, near 
three himdred miles from my home, at the age of seventeen; 
without the least recommendation, or knowledge of any per- 
son in the place, and very little money in my pocket 

The inclination I had felt for the sea was by this time done 
away, or I might now have gratified it. Buthaving another pro- 
fession, and conceiving myself a pretty good workman, I offer- 
ed my senices to a printer of the place, old Mr. W. Brad- 
* ford, who had been the first printer in Pennsylvania, but had 
removed thence, in consequence of a quarrel with the gover- 
nor, general Keiti!. He could give me no employment, baring 
little to do, and hands enough already. But he said, <<my son 
<^ at Philadelphia, has lately lost his principal band, Aquilla 
«< Rose, by death; if yon go thither, I believe he may employ 
<< you.'' Philadelphia was one hundred miles farther; I set out 
however, in a boat for Amboy, leaving my chest and things to 
foltow me rouhd by sea. In crossing the bay we met with a 
squall that tore our rotten sails to pieces, prevented our getting 
into the kill, and drove us upon Long Island. In our way, a 
drunken Dutchman, who was a passenger too, fell over board; 
when he was sinking, I reached thrdugh the water to his 
shock pate, and drew htm up, so that we got him in again* 
His ducking sobered him a little and he went to sleep, taking 
fi[rbt out of his pocket a book, which he desired I would dry 
for him. It proved to be my old favorite author, Bunyan^a 
Pilgnm*s Progress^ in Dutch, finely printed on good paper, 
copper cuts, a dress better than I had ever seen it wear in its 
own language. I have since found that it has been translated 
.into most of the languages of Europe, and suppose it has 
been more generally read than any other book« except per- 
haps the Bible. Honest John was the first that I know of, 
who mixed narration and dialogue; a method of writing very 
engaging to the reader, who in the most interesting parts 
finds himself, as it were, admitted into the company and pre- 
sent at the conversation. De Foe has imitated him success- 
fully in his Robinson Crusoe, in bis Moll Flanders, and 


other pieces; and Bicliardson bas done tbe same in his Pa- 
mela^ &c. 

On approaching the island, vfQ found it was in a place 
ivhere there could be no landing, there being a great surf on 
the stony beach. So we dropped anchor, and swung out our 
cable towards the shore. Some people came down to the shore, 
and hallooed us, as we did to them, but the wind was so high, 
and the surf so loud, that we could not understand each other. 
There were some small boats near the shore, and we made 
signs, and called to them to fetch us; but they eKher did not 
comprehend us, or it was impracticable, so they went off. 
Night approaching, we had no remedy but to have patience 
till the wind abated, and in the mean time the boatmen and 
myself concluded to sleep if we could; and so we crowded 
into the hatches, where we joined the Dutchman, who was 
still wet, and the spray breaking over the bead of our boat, 
leaked through to us, so tliat we were soon almost as wet as 
he. In this manner we lay all night with very little rest; but 
the wind abating the next day, we made a shift to reach Am- 
boy before night; having been thirty hours on the water, 
without victuals, or any drink but a bottle of filthy rum: the 
water we sailed on being salt 

In the evening I found myself very feveiisb, and went to 
bed: but having read somewhere that cold water di*ank plen- 
tifully was good for a fever, I followed the prescription; and 
sweat plentifully most of the night: my fever left me, and in 
the morning, crossing the ferry, I proceeded on my journey 
on foot, having fifty miles to Burlington, where I was told I 
should find boats that would carry me the rest of tiie way to 

It rained very hard all the day, I was thoroughly soaked» 
and by noon a good deal tired, so I stopt at a poor inn, where 
I stayed all nighty beginning now to wish I had never left 
boone. I made so miserable a figure too, that I found by the 
questions asked me, I was suspected to be some runaway in- 
dentured servant, and in danger of being taken up on fliat 
sQspicioii. However, I proceeded next day, and got in tbe 

S4 M£MOIE» 07 

evening to an inn, within eight or ten miles of Burlington, 
kept by one Dr. Brown. He entered into conversation with 
me^ while I took some refreslimeht, and finding I had read 
a little^ became very obliging and friendly. Our acquaintance 
continued all the rest of his iife. He had been^ I imagine^ an 
ambulatory quack doctor, for thei*c was no town in England, 
or any country in Europe, of which he could not give a very 
particulai* account. He had some letters, and was ingenious, 
but he was an infidel, and wickedly undertook some years 
after to turn the Bible into doggrcl verse; as Cotton had fof^- 
merly done witli Virgil. By this means, he set many facts in 
a ridiculous light, and might have done mischief with weak 
minds, if his work had been publisbed ; but it never was. At 
his house I lay that night, and arrived tite next morning at 
Burlington; but had the mortification to find, that the rego^ 
lar boats had gone a little before, and no other expected to 
go before Tuesday, this being Saturday. Wherefore I return- 
ed to an old woman in the town, of whom I had bought some 
gingerbread to eat on the water, and asked her advice: she 
proposed to lodge me, till a passage by some other boat oc- 
curred. I accepted her offer, being much fatigued by travel- 
ling on foot Understanding I was a printer, she would have 
had me remain in that town and follow my business; bein^ 
ignorant what stock was necessary to begin with. She was 
very hospitable, gave me a dinner of ox cheek with great 
good-will, accepting only of a pot of ale in return ; and I 
thought myself fixed till Tuesday should come. However^ 
walking in the evening by the side of tlie river, a boat came 
by, which I found was going towards Philadelphia vrith seve-^ 
ral people in her. They took me in, and as there was no 
wind, we rowed all the way; and about midnight, not havinjf 
yet seen the city, some of the company were confident we 
must have passed it, and would row no further; the othem 
knew not where we were, so we put towards the shore, got 
into a creek, landed near an old fence, with the rails of which 
we made a fire, the night being cold, in October, and there 
we remained till daylight Then one of the company knew 


the place to bo Cooper's creek^ a Uttle above Philadelphia, 
which we saw as soon as we got out of the creek, and arriv- 
ed there about eight or nine o'clock, on the Sunday naorning, 
aiid landed at Market-street wharf, 

I have been the more particular in this description of my 
journey, and shall be so of mv first entry into that city, that 
you may in your mind compare such unlikely beginnings, 
with the figure I have since mtfde there. I was in my work- 
ing dress, my best clothes coming round by sea. I was dirty, 
from my being so long in the boat: my pockets were stuffed 
out with shii-ts and stockings, and I knew no one, nor where 
to look for lodging. Fatigued with walking, rowing, atid the 
want of sleep, I was very hungry; and ray whole stock of 
cash consisted in a single dollar, and about a shilling in cop- 
per coin, which I gave to tiie boatmen for my passage. At livst 
they refused it, on account of my having rowed, but I insist- 
ed on their taking it Man is sometimes more generous when 
he has little money, than when he has plenty; perhaps to pre- 
vent his being thought to have but little. I walked towax'd3 
the top of the street, gazing about still in Market-street, 
where I met a boy with bread. I had often made a meal of 
dry bread, and inquiring where he had bought it, I went 
immediately to the baker's he directed me to. I asked for 
biscuits, meaning siich as wc had at Boston: that sort, it 
fleems, was not made in Philadelphia. I then asked for a thi*ee- 
penny loaf, and was told they had none. Not knowing tlio 
diilbrent prices, nor the names of the dilBTerent sorts of bread, 
I told him to glrvc mc three-penny worth of any sort. He 
^ve me accordingly three great puffy rolls. I was surprised 
at the quantity, but took it, and having no room in my pock- 
ets, walked off with a roll under each arm, and eating the 
other. Thus I went up Market-street as far as Fourth-street, 
passing by the door of Mr. Read, my future wife's father; 
when she, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, 
as I certainly did, a roost awkward ridiculous appearance. 
Then I turned and went down Chestnut-street and part Qf 


Walnut-streety eating my roll all the way, and coming round 
found myself again at Market-street wharf, near the boat I 
came in, to wliich I went for a draught of the river water f 
and being filled with one of my rolls gave the other two to a 
woman and her child that came down the river in the boat 
with U9, and were waiting to go farther. Thus refreshed, I 
walked again up the street, which by this time had manj 
clean-dressed people in it, who were all walking the same 
way : I joined them and thereby was led into the great meet- 
ing house of the Quakers near the market I sat down among 
them, and after looking round awhile, and hearing notlun^ 
said, being very drowsy, through labor and want of rest tho 
preceding night, I fell fast asleep, and continued so till the 
meeting broke up, when some one was kind enough to rouse 
me. This therefore was the iKrst house I was in, or slept in, 
in Philadelphia. v 

I then walked down towards the river, and looking in the 
faces of every one, I met a young Quaker man whose coun- 
tenance pleased me, and accosting him, requested he would 
tell me where a stranger could get a lodging. We were then 
near the sign of the Three Mariners. " Here,** said he, <« is 
a house where they receive strangers, but it is not a reputa- 
ble one; if thou wilt walk with me, I *11 shew thee a better 
one;" and he conducted me to the Crooked Billet in Water- 
street There I got a dinner; and while I was eating, several 
questions were asked me; as from my youth and appearance 
I was suspected of being a runaway. After dinner my host 
having shewn me to a bed, I lay myself on it, without un« 
dressing, and slept till six in the evening, when I was called 
to supper. I went to bed again very early, and slept very 
soundly till next morning. Then I dressed myself as neat as 
I could, and went to Andrew Bradford, the printer's. I found 
in the shop the old man his father, whom I had seen at 
New York, and who, travelling on horseback, had got to Phi- 
ladelphia before me. He introduced me to his son, who receiv* 
ed me civilly, gave me a breakfast, but told me be did not bX 
present want a hand, being lately supplied with one: but there 


was another printer in town lately set up, one Keimer, who 
perhaps^ might employ me: if not, I welcome to 
lodge at his bouse, and he would give me a little work to do 
now and then till fuller business should offer. 

The old gentleman said he would go with me to the new 
printer; and when we found him, << Neighbor,*' said Brad- 
ford, «I have brought to see you, a young man of your busi- 
ness; perhaps you may want such a one/' He asked me a 

' few questions, put a composing stick in my hand to see how 
I worked, and then said he would employ me soon, though he 
had just then nothing for me to do; and taking old Bradford, 
whom be had never seen before, to be one of the towr' peo- 
ple that had a good will for him, entered into a conversation 
on his present undertaking and prospects; while Bradford, 
(not discovering that he was the other printer's father,), on 
Keimer's saying he expected soon to get the greatest pai*t of 
the business into his own hands; drew him on by artful ques- 
tions, and starting little doubts, to explain all his views, wliat 
influence he relied on, and in what manner he intended to pro- 
ceed* I who stood by and heard all, saw immediately, that 
one was a crafty old sophister, and the other a true novice. 
Bradford left me with Keimer, who was greatly surprised 

. when I told him who the old man was. 

The printing house, I found, consisted of an old damaged 
press and a small worn-out fount of English types, which he 
was using himself, composing an elegy on Aquilla Rose, he- 
forementioned; an ingenious young man, of excellent charac- 
ter, much respected in the town, secretary to the assembly, 
and a pretty poet. Keimer made verses too, but very indiffe- 
rently. He could not be said to rvrite them, for his method 
was to compose them in the types directly out of his head; 
there being no copy, but one pair of cases, and the elegy 
probably requiring all the letter, no one could help him. I 
endeavored to put his press ("which be had not yet used, 
and of which he understood nothing) into order to be work- 
ed with; and promising to come and print off his elegy as 
soon as he should have got it ready, I returned to Bradford's, 

who gave me a little job to do for t!ic present, and there I 
lodged and dieted. A few days after Keimer sent for me to 
print off the elegy. And now he had got another pair of 
cases, and a pamphlet to reprint, on which he set me to work. 

These two printers I found poorly qualified for their bosi- 
ttcss. Bradford had not been bred to it, and was very illlte- 
ratc; and Keimer, though something of a scholar, was a mere 
compositor, knowing nothing of press-work. He had been 
one of the French prophets, and could act their enthusiastic 
agitations. At tiiis time he did not profess any particular re- 
ligion, but something of all on occasion; was very ignorant 
of the world, and had, as I afterwards found, a good deal of 
the knave in his composition. He did not like my lodging at 
Bradford's while I worked with him. He had a house indeed, 
but without furniture, so lie could not lodge me; but he got 
me a lodging at Mr. Rcad*s, beforemcntioned, who was the 
owner of his house: and my chest of clothes being come by 
this time, I made rather a more respectable appearance in the 
eyes of Miss Read, than I had done when she first happened 
to see me eating my roll in the street. 

I began now to have some acquaintance among the youn^ 
people of the town* that were lovers of reading, with whom I 
spent my evenings very pleasantly; and gained money by^iy 
industry and frugality. I lived very contented, and forgot 
Boston as much as I could, and did not wish it should be 
known where I resided, except to my friend Collins, who was 
in the secret, and kept it faithfully. At length, however, an 
incident happened, that occasioned my return home much 
sooner than I had intended, I had a brother-in-law, Robert 
Holmes, master of a sloop that traded between Boston and . 
Delaware. He being at New Castle, forty miles below Fhila- 
. delphia, and hearing of me, wrote me a letter, mentioning the 
grief of my relations and friends in Boston, at my abrupt de*- 
parture, assuring me of their good will to me, and that every 
thing would be accommodated to my mind if I would return ; 
to which he intreated me earnestly. I wrote an answer to his 
letter, thanked him for his advice, but stated my reasons for 

quitting Boston, so fully and in such a light, as to convince 
liim, that I was not so much in the wrong as ho had appi*c« 

Sir William Keith, governor ot the province, was then at 
New Castle, and captain Holmes, happening to be in compa- 
ny with him, when my letter cam^ to Iiand, spoke to him of 
me, and shewed him the letter. The governor read it, and 
seemed surprised when he was told my age. He said I appear- 
ed a young man of promising parts, and therefore should be 
encouraged: theprmtei*s at Philadeipliia were wretched ones, 
and if I would set up tliere, he made no doubt I should succeed; 
for his part he would procure me the public business, and do 
roe every other service in his power. This my brother-in-law 
Holmes afterwards told me in Boston: but I knew as yet no- 
thing of it; when one d»y Keimer and I being at work together 
near the window we saw the governor and another gentleman, 
(who proved to bv col. French of New Castle, in the province 
of Delaware) finely dressed, come directly across the street 
to our house, and heard them at the door. Reimcr ran down 
immediately, thinking it a visit to him: but the governor in- 
quired for me, came up, and with a condescension and polite- 
ness I had been quite unused to, made me many compliments, 
desired to be acquainted witli me; blamed me kindly for not hav- 
ing made myself known to him» when I first came to the place^ 
and would have me away with him to the tavern, where be 
was going with colonel Frencli to taste, as he said, some ex- 
cellent Madeira. I was not a little surprised, ,and Keimer 
stared with astonishment. I went however with the governor 
and colonel Frencii to a tavern the corner of Third-street^ 
and over the Madeira he proposed my setting up my business. 
He stated the probabilities of my success, and both he and 
colonel French assured me I should have their interest and 
influence to obtain for me the public business of both govern- 
ments. And as I expressed doubts that my father would assist 
rae in it, sir William said he would give me a letter to him» 
in which he would set forth the advantages, and he did 
apt doubt, lie should determine him to comply. So it was cou« 


eluded I should return to Boston by the first vessel, with the 
governor's letter to my father. In the mean time it was to be 
kept a secret, and I went on working with Keinier as usual. 
The governor sent for me now and tiien to dine with him, 
which I considered a great honor, mot*e particularly as he 
conversed with me in the most affable, familiar, and friendly 

About tlie end of April, 1724, a little vessel offered for 
Boston. I took leave of Keimer, as going to see my fi4ends. 
The governor gave me an ample letter, saying many flatter- 
ing things of me to my father, and strongly recommending 
the project of my setting up at Philadelpliia, as a thing that 
would make my fortune. We struck on a shoal in going down 
the bay, and sprung a leak ; we had a blustering time at sea, 
and were obliged to pump almost continually, at which I took 
my turn. We arrived safe, however, at Boston in about a fort- 
night. I had been absent seven months, and my friends had 
heard nothing of me; for my brother Holmes was not yet re- 
turned, and had not written about me. My unexpected ap- 
pearance surprised the family; ail were, however, very glad 
to see me, and made me welcome, except my brother: I went 
to see him at his printing house. I was better dressed than ever 
while in his service, having a genteel new suit from head to 
foot, a watch, and my pockets lined with near five pounds 
sterling in silver. He received me not very frankly, looked 
me all over, and turned to his work again. The journeymen 
were inquisitive where I had been, what sort of a country it 
was, and how I liked it? I praised it much, and the happy 
life I led in it, expressing strongly my intention of returning 
to it; and one of them asking what kind of money we had 
there, I produced an handful of silver, and spread it before 
them, which was a kind of raree-ahow they had not been used 
to, paper being the money of Boston. Then I took an oppor- 
tunity of letting them see my watch; and lastly (my brother 
still grum and sullen) gave them a dollar to drink arid took 
my leave. This visit of mine offended him extremely. For 
when my mother sometime after spoke to him of a reconcili^ 


ation^ and of her msh to see us on good terms together^ and 
that we might lire for the future as brothers; he said I had 
insulted him in such a manner before his people, that he 
could never forget or forgive it. In this, however, he was 

My father received the governor's letter with some sur- 
prise; but said little of it to mo for some time. Captain 
Holmes returning, he shewed it to him, and asked him if he 
knew sir William Keith, and what kind of a man he was; 
adding that be must be of small discretion, to think of setting 
a youth up in business, who wanted three years to arrive at 
man's estate. Holmes said what he could in favor of the 
project, but my lather was decidedly against it, and at last 
gave a fiat denial. He wrote a civil letter to sir William, 
thanking him for the patronage he had so kindly offered me, 
and declining to assist me as yet in setting up, I being in his 
opinion too young to be trusted with the management of an 
undertaking so important, and for which the preparation re- 
quired a considerable expenditure; 

My old companion Collins, who was a clerk in the Post 
Office, pleased witii the account I gave him of my new coun- 
try, determined to go thither also: and while I waited for my 
father's determination, he set out before me by land to Rhode- ' 
Island, leaving his books, which were a pretty collection in 
mathematics and natural philosophy, to come with mine and 
roe to New York; where he proposed to wait for me. 

My father though he did not approve sir William's pro- 
position, was yet pleased that I had been able to obtain so 
advanti^geoiis a character from a person of such note where 
I had resided; and that I had been so industrious and care- 
fol as to equip myself so handsomely in so short a time; 
therefore seeing no prospect of an accommodation between 
my brother and me, he gave his consent to my returning 
again to Philadelphia, advised me to behave respectfully to 
the people there, endeavor to obtain the general esteem, and 
aroid lampooning and libelling, to which be thought I had 
too Bsuch inclination; telling me, that by steady industry and 


prudent parsimoiij* I might save enough by the time I was 
one-and-twentyf to set me up; and that if I came near the 
matter he would help me out with tiic rest. This was all I 
could obtain except some small gifts as tokens of his and my 
mothei^'s love when I embarked again for New York» now 
with their approbation and their blessing. The sloop putting 
in at Newport^ Rhode Island, I visited my brother John» 
who had been married and settled there some years. He re- 
ceived me very affectionately, for he always loved me. A 
fi^iend of his, one Vernon, having some money due him in 
Pennsylvania (about thirty-five pounds currency) desired I 
would recover it for him, and keep it till I had his directions 
what to employ it in. Accordingly he gave me an order to 
receive it. This business afterwards occasioned me a good 
deal of uneasiness. 

At Newport we took in a number of passengers, amongst 
which were too young women travelling together, and a sen- 
sible matron-like quaker lady, with her servants. I had 
shewn an obliging disposition to render her some little ser- 
vices, which probably impressed her with sentiments of good 
will towards me; for when she witnessed the daily growing 
familiarity between the young women and myself, which they 
appeared to encourage; she took me aside, and said, ** Young 
inan> I am concerned for thee, as thou hast no friend with 
thee, and seemsU not to know much of the world, or of the 
snares youth is exposed to: depend upon it these are very bad 
women; I can see it by all their actions; and if thou art not 
upon thy guard, they will draw thee into some danger: they 
are strangers to thee, and I advise thee, in a friendly concern 
for thy welfare, to have no acquaintance with them." As I 
seemed at first not to think so ill of them as she did, she men- 
tioned some things she had observed and heard that had esca- 
ped my notice^ but now convinced me she was right I thank- 
ed her for her kind advice^ and promised to follow it When 
vre aiTived at New York, they told me where they lived, and 
invited me to come and see them, but I avoided it, and it was 
well I did. For the next day the captain missed a nWvev 


spoon and some other things that had been taken out of his 
cabin^ and knowing that these were a couple of strumpets, 
he got a warrant to search their lodgings, found the stolen 
jgoods, and had the thieves punished. So though we had es* 
caped a sunken rock, which we scraped upon in the passage, 
I thot^htthis escape of rather more importance to me. 

At New York I found my friend Collins, who had arrived 
tbere some time before me. We had been intimate from chU« 
dren, and had read the same books together: but he had the 
advantage of more time for reading and studying, and a 
wonderful genius for mathematical learning, in which he far 
oatstript me. While I lived in Boston, most of my hours of 
kisare for conversation were spent with him, and he continu- 
ed a sober as well as industrious lad^ was much respected for 
his learning by several of the clergy and other gentlemen, and 
sefnaed to promise making a good figure in life. But during 
my absence he had acquired a habit of drinking of brandy, 
and I found by his own account, as well as that of others, that 
he had been drunk every day since his arrival at New York, 
and behaved himself in a very extravagant manner. He had 
gamed too, and lost his money, so that I was obliged to dis- 
charge his lodgings, and defray his expenses on the road, and 
at Philadelphia; which proved a great burden tome. The 
then governor of New York, Burnet, (son of bishop Burnet,} 
hearing from the captain, that one of the passengers had a 
great many books on board, desired him to bring me to see 
him* 1 waited on him, and should have taken Collins with 
me had he been sober. The governor received me with great 
civility, shewed me his library, which was a considerable one, 
and we had a good deal of conversation relative to books and 
aatbors. This was the second governor who had done me the 
honor to take notice of me; and for a poor boy like me, was 
rery pleasing. We proceeded to Philadelphia, I received in 
the way Vernon's money, without which we could hardly have 
finished our journey. Collins wished to be employed in sonie 
coimtiQg house; but whether they discovered his dram-drink* 

Vox. I. F 

34 MfiMoncs ot 

ifig by his breath or by hia beharior, though he bad some re^ 
comniendations, he met with no success in any application^ 
and continued lodging and boarding at the same house with 
me^ and at my expense. Knowing that I had t^tat money of 
Yemon's he was continually borrowing of me, stiU promis- 
ing re|myment» as soon as he should be in business. At length 
he had got so much of it^ that I was distressed to think what 
I should do, in case of being called on to remit it. His drink* 
ittg continaedi about which we sometimes quarrelled : for when 
a little intoxicated, he was very irritable. Once in a boat on 
the Delaware with some other young men, he refused to row 
in bis turn: ** I will be rowed home/' said he: *f we will not 
row you,*' said I,- «• you must,'* said he, or stay all night on 
the water, just as you please." The others said, ** let us row, 
what signifies it?" But my mind being soured with his other 
conduct, [ continued to refuse. So he swore he would make 
me row, or throw me over*board ; and coming along stepping 
On the thwarts towards me, when he came up and. struck at 
me, I clapt my hand under his thighs, and rising, pitched 
bim head foremost into the rirer. I knew he was a good 
swimmer, and so was under little concern about him; but be- 
fore he could get round to lay hold of the boat, we had with 
a few strokes pulled her out of his reach : and whenever he 
drew near the boat, we asked him if he would row, striking 
a few strokes to slide her away from him. Ho was ready to 
stifle with vexation, and obstinately would not promise to row. 
Finding him at last beginning to tire we drew him into the 
boat, and brought him home dripping wet We hardly ex- 
changed a civil word after this adventure. At length a West 
India captain, who had a commission to procure a preceptor 
for the sons of a gentleman at Barbadoes, met with him# and 
prop'>sed to cai^y him thither to fill that situatioti. He ac- 
cepted, and promised to remit me what he owed me out of 
the first money he should receive: but I never heard of bim 
after. The violation oPmy trust, respecting Vernon's money 
was one of the first great errata of my life; and this shewed 
that my father was not much out in his judgment^ when ho 


considered me as too young to manage business. But sip 
Wiliiam, on reading his letter, said he was too prudent, that 
there was a great difference in persons; and discretion did 
not always accompany years, nor was youth always without 
it « But since he will not set you up, I will do it myself. 
Give me an inventory of the things necessary to be had from 
England, and I will send for them. You shall repay me when 
you arc able; I am resolved to have a good printer here, and 
I am sure you must succeed.'' This was spoken with such an 
appearance of cordiality, that I had not the least doubt of his 
meaning wtiat he said. I had hitherto kept the proposition of 
my setting up a secret in Philadelphia, and I still kept it. 
Had it been known that I depended on the governor, proba- 
bly some friend that knew him better, would have advised me 
not to rely on him ; as I afterwards heard it as his known 
chflcracter, to be liberal of promises which he never meant to 
keep. Tet unsolicited as he was by me, how could I think his 
generous offers insincere: I believed him one of the best men 
in the world. 

I presented him an inventory of a little printing house, 
amounting by my computaition to about one hundred pounds 
sterling. He liked it, but asked me if my being on the spot 
in England to choose the types, and see that every thing was 
good of tiie kind, might not be of some advantage ; << then," 
said he, << when there you may make acquaintance, and es- 
tablish correspondences in the bookselling and stationary 
way." I agreed, that this might be advantageous. Then, said 
he^ get yourself ready to go with Annis;" which wa? the 
annua] ship, and the only one at that time usually passing be- 
tween London and Philadelphia. But as it would be some 
months before Annis sailed, I continued working with Keimer, 
fretting extremely about the mon(*y Collins had got from me, 
and in great apprehensions of being called upon for it by 
Vernon; this however did not happen for some years after. 
I believe I have omitted mentioning, that in my first voy- 
age from Boston to Philadelphia, being becalmed off Block 
bland, our crew employed ttiemselves in catching cod, and 


hauled up a great number. TiU then I had stuck to my reso- 
lution to eat nothing that had had life; and on this occasion 
I considered, according to my master Tryon, the taking etery 
fish as a kind of unprovoked murder, since none of them bad 
nor could do us any injury that might justify this massacre. 
All this seemed very reasonable. But I had been formerly a 
great lover of fisli, and when it came out of the frying-pan it 
smelt admirably well. I balanced some time between princi- 
ple and inclination, till recollecting that when fish were open- 
ed I saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs; then 
thought I, «« If you eat one another, I dont sec why we may 
not eat you/' So I dined upon cod very heartily, and have 
since continued to eat as other people; returning only now 
and then occasionally to a vegetable diet. So convenient a 
thing it is to be a reasonable creature^ since it enables one (o 
find or make a rea^n for every thing one has a mind to do. 

Keimer and I lived on a pretty good familiar footing, and 
agreed tolerably well; for he suspected nothing of my setting 
up. He retained a great deal of his old enthusiasm, and loved 
argumentation. We therefore had many disputations. I nsed 
to work him, so with my Socratic method, and had trepanned 
him so often by questions apparently so distant from any point 
we had in hand, yet by degi-ess leading to the point, and 
bringing him into difficulties and contradictions, that at last 
he grew ridiculously cautious, and would hardly answer me 
the most common question, without asking first, << rvhai do 
you intend to infer from that?^* However, it gave him so high 
an opinion of my abilities in the confuting way, that he seri- 
onsly proposed my being his colleague in a project he had of 
setting up a new sect. He was to preach the doctrines, and I 
was to confound all opponents. When he came to explain 
with me upon the doctrines, I found several .conundrums, 
which I objected to unless I might have my way a little too, 
and introduce some of mine. Reimer wore his beard at full 
length, because somewhere in the Mosaic law, it is said, 
^ Thou shaU not mar the comers of thf beard.** He likewise 
kept the seventh day. Sabbath; and these two points were 


essential witli him. I disliked both; but agreed to them on 
condition of bis adopting the doctrine of not using animal 
fi>od» I doubt, said he» uiy constitution will not bear it. I aa« 
Bured him it would, and that he would be the t>etter for it 
He was usually a great eater, and I wished to give mysetf 
some diTerson in half starving him. He consented to try the 
practice if I would keep him company: I did so, and we held 
it for three months. Our provisions were purchased, cooked, ' 
and brought to us regularly by a woman in the neighborhood^ 
who had from me a list of forty dishes, which she prepared 
for us at different times, in which there entered neitlier fish, 
flesh, or fowl. This whim suited me the better at this time, 
from the cheapness of it, not costing us above eighteen pcmce 
sterling each per week. I have since kept several lents most 
strictly* leaving the common diet for that and that for the com- 
mon, abruptly, without the least inconvenience. So that I 
think there is little in the advice of making those changes by 
easy gradations. I went on pleasantiy, but poor Reimer suf- 
fered grievously, grew tired of the project, longed for the 
flesh-pots of Egypt, and ordered a roast pig. He invited me 
and too women friends to dine with him, but it being brought 
too soon upon table, he coiild not resist the temptation, and 
ate the whole before we came. 

I had made some courtship during this time to Miss Read: 
I had a great respect and afl^tion for her, and had some rea- 
sons to believe she had the same for me: but as I was 
about to take a long voyage, and we were both very young, 
(only a little above eighteen,) it was thought most prudent 
by her mother, to prevent our going too far at present: as a 
marriage, if it was to take place, would be more convenient 
after my return, when I should be, as I hoped, set up in my 
business. Perhaps to(^ she thought my expectations not so 
well founded as I imagined them to be. 

My chief acquaintances at this time were Chaijes Osborne, 
Joseph Watson, and James Ralph; all lovers of reading. 
The two first were clerks to an eminent scrivener or convey- 
ancer in the town> (Charles Brogden,) the other was a clerk 


to a merchant Watson was a pious, sf nsible young man, of 
groat integrity: theottiers ratUer more lax in their princi- 
ides of religion I particulariy Ralphs who aa well as Collins 
.had been unsettled by me; for which they both made me suf- 
fer. Osborne was sensible, candid, frank; sincere lind affec- 
tionate to his friends; but in literary matters too fond of cri- 
:ticiBm« Ralph was ingenuous, genteel in his manners, and ex- 
tremely eloquent;! think I niPTer knew a prettier talker. Both 
were great admirers of poetry, and begun to try their hands 
in little pieces. Many pleasant walks we have had togetlier 
on Sundays in the woods on the banks of the Schuylkill, 
where we read to oiie another, and conferred on what we had 
read. Ralph was inclined to give himself up entirely to poe- 
try, not doubting but he might make great proficiency in it^ 
ami even make bis fortune by it. He pretended that the gi'eat- 
est poets must, when they first began to write, have commit- 
ted as many faults as he did. Osborne endeavored to dissuade 
him, assured him he had no genius for poetry, and adrised 
him to think of nothing beyond the business he was bred to; 
'** tiiat in the mercantile way though he had no stock, he might 
by hia diligence and punctuality recommend himself to em- 
.pioyment as a factor, and in time acquire wherewith to trade 
on his own account.'' I approved for my part the amusing 
oneself with poetry now and then, so far as to improre one's 
lai^;iiage, bat no farther. On this it was proposed that we 
should each of ns at our next meeting produce a piece of our 
own composing, in order to improve by our mutual observa- 
tions, criticisms, and corrections. As language and expression 
was what wc had in view, we excluded all considerations of 
invention, by agreeing tiiat the task should be a veraion of 
the eighteenth psalm, which describes the descent of a deity. 
When the time of our meeting drew nigh, Ralph called on me 
first, and let me know his piece was ready: I told him I had 
been busy, and having littV inclination, had done nothing. 
.He then shewed me his piece for my opinion, and I much 
approved it, as it appeared to me to have great merit. 
<< Now/' said he, <« Osborne never will allow tlic least merit 

in any tliiiij; of mkie, but makea a thousand criticisms aort of 
mere envy: He is not so jealous of yon: I wish therefore yoa 
would take tbb piece and prodvce it as yours; I ^11 pretend * 
not to have bad time» and so produce nothing: we shall tlien 
liear what lie will say to if It was agreed, and I inHnedK- 
atf ly transcribed it, tiiat it mtglit appear in my own hand* 
We met : Watson's performance was read : there were some 
beauties in it, but many defects. Osborne's was read: it was 
much better: Ralph did it justice; i-emarlwed some faults, bi3t> 
applauded the beauties. He himself had nothing to produce. 
I was backward, seemed desirous of being excused, had not' 
had suflEicient time to correct, &c« but no excuse could be ad« 
mitted; produce I must, it was read and repeated: Watson and 
Osborne gave up tiie contest; and joined in applauding it. 
Ralph only made some criticisms and proposed some amend* 
ments: but I defended my text. Osborne was sevete against 
Ralph, and told me he was no better able to criticise than to 
compose verses. As these two were returning home, Osborne 
expressed himself still more strongly in favor of what he 
thought my production ; having before refrained, as he said, 
lest I should think he meant to flatter me. « But who would 
have imagined,'' said he, <^ that Franklin was capable of such 
a performance; such painting, such force, sucH Are! He has 
even Improved on the original. In common conversation he 
seems to have no choice of words, be hesitates and blunders; 
and yet, good God, how he writes!" When we next met, 
Ralph discovered the trick we had played, and Osborne was 
laughed at. This transaction fixed Ralph in his resolution of 
becoming a poet. I did all I could to dissuade him from it, 
but he continued scribbling verses till Pope cured him«* He 
became however a pretty good prose writer. More of him 
hereafter. But as I may not have occasion to mention the 
other two^ t shall just remark here, that Watson died in my 

• «< Silence ye Wolves, while Raiph to Cynthia howls. 
And raakcB night hideous: — ^answer him ye owls!" 

Pope's Bvvgxab, b. iii. v. 165, 

40 M BMOimS OF 

arms a few years after, mucli lamented, being the best of cup 
set Osborne went to the West Indies, where he became an 
eminent lawyer and made money, but died young. He and I 
had made a serious agreement, that the one who happened 
Unit to die, should if possible make a friendly visit to the 
other, and acquaint him how he found things in that separate 
state. But he never fulfilled his promise. 

The governor seeming to like my company had me frequent- 
ly at his house, and his setting me up was always mentioned as 
a fixed thing. 1 was to take with me letters recommendatory 
to a number of his friends, besides the letter of credit to fur- 
nish^ me with the necessary money for. purchasing the press, 
types, paper, &c. For these letters I was appointed to call at 
different times, when they were to be ready, but a future time 
was still named. Thus we went on till the 6hip (whose depar-. 
ture too had been several times postponed) was on the point 
of sailing. Then when I called to take my leave and receive 
the letters, his secretary, Dr. Baird, came out to me and said, 
the governor was extremely busy in writing, but would be 
down at Newcastle before the ship, and then the letters woidd 
be delivered to me. 

Ralph, though married, and^ having one child, had deter- 
mined to accompany me in this voyage. It was thought he 
intended to establish a correspondence and obtain goods to 
sell on commission: but I found after, that having some cause 
of discontent with bis wife's relations, he proposed to leave 
her on their hands and never return to America. Having taken 
leave of my friends, and exchanged promises with Miss Read, 
I quitted Philadelphia, in the ship, which anchored at New- 
castle. The governor was there, but when I went to his lodg- 
ing, his secretary came to me from him with expressions of 
the greatest regret that Jie could not then see me, being en- 
gaged in business of importance; but that he v/onW send the 
letters to me on bdard, wishing me heartily a good voyage 
and a speedy return, fcc. I returned on board a litfle puz- 
zled» but still not doubting. 

Mr.Anilrtw Hamilton, a celebrated lawyer of PbUadelphiaf 
had takt n his passage in the same ship for himself and son» 
Witli Mr. Denham, a Quaker mei*chant| and Messrs. Oniam 
and Rusbelf (masters of an Iron Work in Maryland,) who 
had enj^Hged jihe great cabin ; so that Ralph and Iwere forced 
Id take up witti a birth in the steerage, and none on board 
knowing os^ were considered as ordinary persons. But Mr. 
Hamilton and his son (it was Jamrs, since governor) returned 
from Newcastle to Pliiladelphia; the father being recalled 
by a great fee to plead for a seized ship. And just before we 
sailed, colonel French coming on board, and shewing me 
great respect, I was more taken notice of; and with my friend 
Ralph invited by the other gentlemt^i to come into the cabin^ 
there being now room : accordingly we removed thither. 

Understanding that colonel French had brought on board 
fthegoverrioi*'s dispatches, I asked the captain for those letters 
that were to be under my care: he said all were put into the 
bag together; and he could not then come at them: but before 
we landed in England I should have an opportunity of pick-* 
ing them out, so I was satisfied for the present, and we pro^- 
ceeded on our voyage. We had a sociable company in the 
cabin, and lived uncommonly well, having the addition of all 
Mr. Hamilton's stores^ wlio hatl laid in plentifully. In this 
passage Mr. Denham rontracted a friendship for me, that 
continued during his life. The voyage was otherwise not a 
pleasant one, as we had a great deal of bad weather. 

When we came into the Channel, the captain kept bU 
word with me, and gave me an opportunity of examining the 
bag for the governor's letters: I found some upon which my 
name was put, as under my care: I picked out six or sevett^ 
that by the hand-writing I thought might be the promised 
letters, especially is one of them was addressed to Basket, 
the kin^s printer* and another to some stationer. We a^ 
rived In London the S4th December, 1724. 1 waited upon the 
stationer, who came first in my way, delivering the letter as 
from governor Keith. I dont know such a person, said he: 
but opening the letter, 0! this is from Riddlesden. I bav^ 


lately found bin to be a complete rascal, and I will have no« 
thing to do with hiniy nor rect- ive any letters from him. So 
putting the letter into my hand he turned on his heel and left 
roe to serve some customer. 1 was surprised to find these were 
not the governor's letters : and after recollecting and coropar* 
ing circumstances^ I began to doubt his sincerity. 1 found my 
friend Denham, and opened the whole affair to him. He let 
me into Keith's character, told me there was not the least pro- 
bability that he had written any letters for me, that no oae 
who knew him, had the smallest dependence on him ; and he 
laughed at the idea of the governoi^'s giving me a letter of 
credit, having, as he said, no credit to give. On my express- 
ing some concern about what i should do; he advised me to en- 
deavor getting some employment, in the way of my business. 
Among tlie printers here, said he, you will improve yourself, 
and when you return to America, you will set up to greater 

We both of us happened to know, as well as the stationer, 
that Riddlesden, the attorney, was a very knave: he bad 
half ruined Miss Read's tether,* by persuading him to be 
bound for him : i y his letter it appeared there was a secret 
scheme on foot to the prcjuiitce of Mr. Hamilton, (supposed 
to be then coming over witti us) that Keith was concerned in 
it, with Riddlesden. Denliani, who was a friend of Hamilton's, 
thought he ought to be acquainted with it; so when he arrived 
in England, which was soon after, partly from resentment 
and ill will to Keith and Riddlesden, and partly from good 
will to him; I waited on him, and gave him the letter. He 
thanked me cordially, the information being of importance to 
him: and from that time he became my friend, greatly to my 
advantage afterwards on many occasions. 

But what shall we think of a governor playing such pitiful 
tricks, and imposing so grossly upon a poor ignorant boy! 
It was a habit he had acquired. He wished to please eveiy 
body; and having little to give, he gave expectations. He was 
otherwise an ingenious, sensible man, a pretty good writer, 
€nd a good govemor for the people; though not for his con- 


atitnenta the proprietaries, whose instructions he sometimes 
disregarded : several of our best laws were of his planning, 
and passed daring his administration. 

Ralpli and I were inseparable companions. We took lodg- 
ings together in Little Britain, at Ss. 6d. per week; as much 
as we could then afford. He found some relations, but they 
were poor, and unable to assist him. He now let me know his 
intentions of remaining in London, and that he neyer meant 
to return to Philadelphia. He 4iad brought no moiiey with 
him, the whole he could muster having been expended in pay*- 
ing his passage. I had fifteen pistoles: so he borrowed occa* 
sionally of me to subsist, while he was looking out for busi- 
ness. He first endeavored to get into the play-house, belieying 
himself qualified for an actor; but Wilkes, to whom he ap- 
plied, advised him candidly not to think of tliat employment^ 
as it was impossible he should succeed in it Then he pro- 
posed to Roberts, a publisher in Pater-Noster-Bow, to write 
for him a weekly paper like thf Spectator, on certain condi- 
tions; which Roberts ilid not approve. Then he endeavored 
to get employment as a hac*kney writer, to copy for the sta- 
tioners and lawyers about the Temple; but couM not find a 

For myself I immediately got into work at Palmer's, a fa- 
moos printing house in Bartholomew Close, where I conti- 
nued near a year. 1 was pretty diligent, but I spent with Balph 
a good deal of my earnings, at plays and public amusements: 
we had nearly consumed all my pistoles, and now just rubbed 
on from hand to mouth. He seemed quite to have forgotten 
his wife and child; and I by de.&^rees my engagements with 
Miss Bead, to wiiom I never wmte more tlian one letter, and 
that was to let her know I was not likely soon to return. This 
was another af the great errata of my life which I could wish 
to porrect, if I were to live it over again. In fact, by oiir ex- 
penses I was constantly kept unable to pay my passage. 

At Palmer's I was employed in composing for the second 
edition of Woollaston's Reli.e:ion of Nature. Some of Ids rea- 
sonings not appearing to me well-founded, I wrote a Utile me- 


taphysical piece, in which I made reinaflLS on them. It was 
' intitled << Ji Dissertation an Uberiif and Meessiiy^ Pleasure 
and Fain.** I inscribed it to my triend Ralphs I printed a 
small number. It ciccasioned my being more considered by 
Mr. Palmer, as a yonng man of some ingenuity, though he 
seriously expostulated with me upon the principles of my 
pamphlet, which to him appfan d abominable. My printing 
this pamphlet was another erratum. While I lod.^ed in LUUe 
MriUdnf I made acquaintance»with one Wilcox, a bookseller, 
whose shop was next door. He had an immense coilection^of 
second-hand books. Circulating libraries were not then in use, 
bat we agreed, that on certain retisiinable terms (which I 
have now forgotten,) I might take, read, and return any of 
his books: this I esteemed a great advantage, and I made as 
SiUCh use of it as I could. 

My pamphlet by some means failing into the hands of one 
Lyons, a surgeon, author of a book intitled ** The If^aUiH' 
Kiy of Human Judgment;** it occiision<-d an acquaintance be- 
tween us: he took great notice of me, called oji me often to 
converse on those subjects, carried me to the Horns, a pale ale 
house in -*— lane, Cheapside, and introduced me to doctor 
Mandeville, author of the Fable of the Bees, who had a club 
there, of which he was the soul ; being a most facetious, en- 
tertaining companion. Lyons too introducetl me to doctor 
Pemberton,^ at Barton's coffee-house, who promised to give 
me an opportunity, some time or other, of seeing sir Isaac 
Newton, of which I was extremely desirous; but this never 

I had brought over a few curiosities, among which the prin- 
cipal was a purse made of the asbestos9 which purifi<« by fire. 
Sir Hans Sloane heard of it, came to see me, and invited roe 
to his house in Bloomsbury square, showed me all his curio- 
sities, and persuaded me to add that to the number; for which 
he paid me handsomely. 

' p. R. 8. author of « A View of sir Isaac Newt<m*8 Philosophy/' and 
^ A Treatise ea Chemistry;*' died In 1771. 


III our house lodged a young woman, a milliner, who, I 
tbiak, bad a shop in the cloistei-s: she had been genteelly 
btred, was sensible, lively, and of a most pleasing ronversa- 
tion. Ralph read plays to her in the evenings, they grew in- 
timate, she took another lodging, and he followed h"er. They 
Ih ed together some time, but he being still out of business, 
and her income not sufficient to maintain them with her child, 
he took a resolution of going from London, to try for a coun- 
try school, which he thought himself wril qualified to under- 
take, as* he wrote an excellent hand, and was a roaster of 
arithmetic and accounts. This however he deemed a business 
bdow him, and confident of future better fortune, when he 
should be unwilling to have it known that he once was so 
meanly employed, he changed his name, and did me the Ko- 
nor to assume mine: for I soon after had a letter from him, 
acquainting me that he was settled in a small village in Berk- 
dure, (I think it was where he taught reading and writing to • 
ten or a dozen boys, at 6d. each ])er week,) recommending 
Mrs. T. • • • to my care, and desiring me to write to him, di- 
vectiQg for •Mr. Franklin, schoolmaster, at such a place. He 
oootinned to write to me frequently, sending me large speci- 
mens of an epic poem, which he was then composing, and de- 
siring my remarks and corrections. Those I gave him from 
time to time, but endeavored rather to disrourage his proceed- 
ing. One of Young's satires was then just published: I copied 
and sent him a great part of it, which set in a strong light the 
folly of pursuing the Muses.' All was in vain: sheets of the 

c Th' abandoned manners of our writing train 
May tempt mankind to think religion vain; 
But in their fate, their habit, and their mein, 
That Gods there are, is evidently seen : 
Heav*n atands absolved by vengeance on their pen, 
And marks the murderers of fame from men: 
Through meagre jaws they draw their venal breath. 
As ghastly as their brothers in Macbeth : 
Their feet thro* faithless leather meets the dirt. 
And oftener chang'd their principles than shirt : 



poem continued to come by every post. In the mean time, 
Mrs. T. • • M having on hi9 account lost her friends and basi- 
nessy was often in distresses, and used to send for me, and 

The transient vestments of these frugal men 
Hasten to paper for our mirth again: 
Too soon (O merry, melancholy fate!) 
They beg in rhyme, and warble thro' a grate; 
The man lampoon'd, forgets it at the sight; 
The friend thro' pity gives, the foe thro' spite; 
And though full conscious of his injured purse, 
Lintot relents, nor Curll can wish them worse.*' 

'* An author, 'tis a venerable name t i 

How few deserve it and what numbers claim ! 
Unbless'd with sense, above the peers refin'd. 
Who shall stand up, dictators to mankind? 
Nay, who dare shine, if not in virtue's cause ? 
That sole proprietor of just applause. 

" Te restless men ! who pant for lettered praise. 
With whom would you consult to gain the bays ? 
With those great authors whose fam'd wo^s you read? 
Tis well ; go, then, consult the laurel'd shade. 
What' answer will the laurel'd shade return ? 
Hear it and tremble, he commands you bum 
The noblest works, his env/d genius writ. 
That boasts of naught more exceUent than ^t. 
If this be true, as 'tis a truth most dread, 
Wo to the page which has not that to plead! 
Fontaine and Chaucer dying, wish'd unwrote 
The sprightliest efforts of their wanton thought : 
Sidney and Waller, brlghest sons of fame, 
- Condemn'd the charm of ages to the flame.** 

*< Thus ends your courted fame— does lucre then^ 
The sacred thirst of gold, betray your pen? 
In prose 'tis blameable, in verse 'tis worse. 
Provokes the Muse, extorts Apollo's curse; 
His sacred influence never should be sold ; 
'Tis arrant simony to sing for gold ; 
'Tis immortality should fire your mind. 
Scorn a less paymaster than all mankind." 

Young, Voi UL £pkt. 11 p. 70. 


torrow what money 1 couhl spare to help to alleviate them. 
I grew fond of her rompanj^y and being at that time under no 
religious restraint, and taking advantage of my importance 
to her^ 1 attempted to take some liberties with hi 1*9 (another 
erra^m) which slie rt-pul^ed, with a piopcT degree of resent- 
ment. She wrote to Ralph and acquaintt d him with my con- 
duct; this occasioned a breach between us| and when he re- 
turned to London^ he let me know he considered all the obli- 
gations he had been under to me as annulled: from which I 
concluded I was never to expect his repaying me tlie money 
I had lent him, or that I had advanced for him. This howe- 
ver was of little consequence, as he was totally unable ; and 
by the loss of his friendship^ 1 found myself relieved from a 
lieavy burden. I now began to think of getting a little before- 
handy and expecting better employment, 1 left Palmer's to Watts's, near Lincoln's inn Fields, a still greater 
printing house: here I continued all the rest of my stay in 

At my first admission into the printing *house I took to 
working at press, imagining I felt a want of the bodily exer- 
cise I had been used to in America, where presswork is roix- 
«d with the composing. 1 drank only water; tl>e other work- 
men, near fifty in number, were great drinkers of beer. On 
<>ccasion I carried up and down stairs a large form of types 
in each hand, when others carried but one in both hands; they 
wondered to see from this and several instances, that the 
Waier-^rMfican as they called me, was stronger than them- 
selves who drank strong beer! We had an alehouse boy, who 
attended always in the house to supply the workmen. My com- 
panion at the press drank every day a pint before breakfast^ 
a pint at breakfast with his bread and ciieese, a pint between 
breakfast and dinner; a pint at dinner; a pint in the after- 
noon about six o'clock, and another when be had done his day's 
work. I thought it a detestable custom; but it was necessary^ 
he supposed, to drink strong beer that he might be stroi^ to 
labor. I endeavored to convince him that the bodily strength 
aiRn-ded by beer^ could only be in proportion to the grain or 


flour of the barley dissolved in the water of which it was made; 
that there ^^as more flour iii a pennyworth of bread, and 
therefore if he could eat that with a pint of water, it would 
give him more stixngtb than a quart of beer. He drank on 
however, and had four or five shillings to pay out of his wa- 
ges every Saturday night lor that vile liquor; .an expense I 
was free from : anil thus these poor devils keep themselves 
always undiT. 

Watts, after some weeks, desiring to have me in the com* 
posing room, 1 left the pre>smen; a new bien vtnu for drinks 
(being five shillings) was demanded'of me by the compoei- 
tors. 1 thought it an imposition, as I had paid one to the 
pressmen; the master thought so too, and forbad my paying 
it. I stood out two or three weeks, was accordingly con^der- 
ed as an excommunicate, and had so many little pieces of pri- 
vate malice practised on me, by mixing my sorts, transpos- 
ing and breaking my matter, &c. &c., if ever I stept out <^ 
the room; and all ascribed to the chapel ghost, which they 
said ever haunteil those not ri'gularly admitted ; that notwith- 
standing the master's pnitirtion, 1 found myself obliged to 
comply and pay the money; convinced of the folly of being 
on ill terms with those one is to live with continually, I was 
now on a fair footing with them, and soon acquired conside- 
rable influence. I proposed some n*asonable alterations in their 
chapel^ laws, and carried them against all .opposition. From 
my example a great many of them left their muddling break- 
fast of beer, bread and cheese, finding they .could with me 
be supplied from a neighboring house, with a large porrin* 

cKaaasaaeaasaaasas ^=ssssss i =a=assa=aae^=aasrata^aeaa 

^ A printing-house is always caUed a chapel, by the workmen ; the ori- 
gin of which appears to have been, that printing vas first carried on ia 
England in an antient chapel converted into a printing house, and the title 
has been preserved by tradition. The bien venu among the printers an* 
•wers to the terms etOrance w^f fitting among mechanics; thus a journey* 
man, on entering a printing house, was accustomed to pay one or iBote 
gallons of beeryor the good qf the chapel : this custom was fidlinginto dia* 
use thirty years ago— it is very properly rejected entirely in tbe United 


gn* of hot water-gruel, sprinkled with pepper, crumbled with 
bread, and a bit of butter in it, for the price of a pint of beer; 
▼is. three halfpence. This was a more comfortable as well as 
a cheaper breakfast, and kept their heads clearer. Those who 
continued soiting with their beer all day, were often, by not 
paying, out of credit at the alehouse, and used to make inte« 
rest with me to get beer, their light, as they phrased it, being 
mil. I watche<l the pay-table on Saturday night, and collected 
^hat I stood engaged for them, having to pay sometimes near 
thirty shillings a week on their accounts. This and my being 
esteemed a pretty good rig-ite, that is a jocular verbal satyr* 
ist, supported niy consequence in the s()Ciety. My constant 
attendance, (I never making a jS%. Monday) recommended me 
to the master; and my uncommon quickness at composing 
occasioned my being put upon work f)f dispatch, wliich was 
generally better paid; so I went on now very agreeably. 

My lodgings in Little Britain being too remote, I found 
another in Duke street, opposite to the Romish chapel. It was 
up three pair of stairs backwards, at an Italian warehouse. 
A widow lady kept the house; she had a daughter, and a 
maid servant, and a journeyman who attended the warehouse, 
bat lodged abroad. After sending to inquire my character at 
the house where I last lodged, she agreed to take me in at 
the same rate, 35. 6d. per week; cheaper, as she said, from 
the protection she expected in having a man to lodge in the 
bouse. She was'a widow, an elderly woman; had been bred 
a Protestant, being a clergyman's daughter, but was convert- 
ed to the Catholic religion by her husband, whose memory 
she much revered; had lived much among people of distinc- 
tion, and knew a thousand anecdotes of them, as far back as 
tlie times of Charles the Second. She was lame in her knees 
With the gout, and therefore seldom stirred out of her room; 
so sometimes wanted company; and heis was so highly 
amusing to me, that I was sure to spend an evening with 
ber whenever she desired it. Our supper was only half an 
anchovy eacby on a very little slice of bread and butter, and 

Vol. I. H 

jf M£M0XE9 0]f ^ 

balf a pint •( ale Utween us; bjit the entertiiinBieiit was m 
her conrersation. M7 always keeping good hours and giving 
little trouble in tlie faniilyy made her unwilling to {mrt witb 
ine^ 80 that when I talked of a lodging I had heard of, n«*arer 
piy business, for 2s. a week, which, intent as I was on saving 
money, made some difference, she bid me not think of it, for 
she would abate me 2«» a week for the future; so 1 remaine4 
with her at U. 6d. as long as I staid in London* 

In a garret of her house there lived a maiden lady of se^ 
▼enty, in the mopt retired manner, of whom my landlady 
gave me this account; that slie was a Roman Catholic, bad 
been sent abroad when young, and lodged in a nunnery with 
an intent of becoming a nun; but the country not agreeing 
with her, she returned to England, where there being no 
nunnery, she had vowed in lead the life of a nun, as near as. 
might be. done in those rircunistances* Accordingly, she bad 
given all her estate U charitable purposes, reserving only 
twelve pounds a year to live on» and out of this sum she atiU 
gave a part in charity, living herself on water-^ruel uply^ 
and using no fire but to boil it* She had lived many yearn in 
that garret, being permitted to remain there gi^tis by auc« 
cessive Catholic tenants of the house beloWf as tliey deemed 
it a blessing to have her there. A priest visited her, to con* 
fesR her every day: «« from this I asked her," said my land« 
lady, *< how shen as she lived, could possibly fiHd so much em- 
ployment for a confessor?" ** Olu" said she,* <• it is impoaai* 
ble to avoid vain tlumghUJ* I was permitted once to visit hen 
she was cheerful and polite, and conversed pleasantly. Th^ 
room was clean, but had no other furniture than a mattrassy 
a table with a crucifix, and a book, a stool which she gavo 
me to ^it on, and a picture over tlie chimney of Si. Venmica 
displaying her iMmdkerchief, with the miraculous figure of 
Christ's bleeding face on it, which she explained to me with 
great seriousness. She looked pale, b«t was never sick« and 
I give it as another instance, on bow smaU a« income lilt 
and health may be supported* 

At Wafts^s printing bouse, I rontracted art aeqDflintanc& 
with an ingenious man, one Wygate, wlio liaving wealtliy 
relations, had been better educated than tnust printers; was 
a tolerable Latinist, spolce French, and loved reading. I 
UiHght him and a friend of bis to swim, at twice going int6 
flie river, and they soon became good swimmei-s. Tliey in« 
troduced me to some gientlemen from the roantry, wl>o went 
to Chelsea by Water, to see the college and don Saltero's cu- 
rioBities. In our return, at the request of the company, whos« 
cariosity Wygate had excited, I stripped and kaped into th6 
rirer, and swam from near Chelsea to Blackfriars; perform- 
ing in the way many feats of activity both upon and under 
the water, that surprised and pleased those to whom they 
were novelties; I had fnim a child been delighted with this 
exercise, bad studied and practised Thevenot^s mofions and 
positions, added some of mine own; aiming at the graceful 
ailtf «-asy, as well as the useful: all these I took this occasion 
of exhibiting to the company, and was much flattered by 
their admrration; and Wygate, who was desirous of becom- 
ing a mastei^ g>^w more and more attached to Ine on that 
account, as wed as from the similarity of oiir studies. He at 
lengtli proposed to me travelling all over Europe together, 
supporting ourselves every where by working at our business. 
I was <We inclined to it; but mentioning it to my good friend 
Mr* Denham, with whom I often spent an hour when I had 
leisure, he dissuaded me from it; advising me to think only 
0f returning to Pennsylvania, which he was now about to do. 
I must record one trait of this good man^s character: he 
laid (brmerly been in business at Bristol, but failed in debt to 
a nu'itber of people, compounded and went to America: there 
6y a close application to business as a merchant, he acquired 
a plentiful fortune in a few years. Returning to England in 
the »hip with me, he invited his old creditors to an entertain- 
mrnt, at which he tlianked tliein for the easy composition 
fliey bad favored him with, and when they jrxpected nothing 
feat the treat, every man at the firat remove found under his 

32 MEMOIRS or 

plate an order on a banker Tor the full amount of the onpaUl 
remainder^ with interest. 

He now told me he was about to return to Philadelphia, 
and should carry over a great quantity of goods in order to 
open a store there: he prf>posed to take roe oyer aa his clerk, 
to keep his books, (in which he w^uld instruct me) copy his 
letters, and attend the store: he added, that as soon as I 
should be ac<|uainted with mercantile business, he would pra- 
roote me, by sending me with a c^rgo of flour and tread, &c» 
to the West Indies, and procure me commissions from others 
which would be profitable; and if I managed well would es- 
tablish* me handsomely. The thing pleased me; for I was 
grown tired of London, remembered with pleasure the happy 
months I had spent in Pennsylvania, and wished again to see 
it; therefore I immediately agreed on the terms of fifty pounds 
a year Pennsylvania money; less indeed than my then pre- 
sent gettings as a compositor, but affording better prospects. 

I now took leave, of printing, as I thought, for ever, and 
was daily employed in my new business, going about with 
]dr. Denham among the tradesmen to purchase^ various arti- 
cles, and see them packed up, delivering messages, calling 
upon workmen to dispatch, &c., and when all was on board, 
I had a few days' leisure. On one of these days, I was, to my 
surprise, sent for by a great man, I knew only by name, (sir 
William Wyndham,) and I waited upon bim: }ie had heard 
by some means or other of my swimming from Chelsea to 
Blackfriars, and of my teaching Wygate and another young 
man to swim in a few hours: he had two sons, about to set 
out on their travels; he wished to have them first taught 
swimming, and proposed to gratify me handsomely if I would 
teach tliem. They were not yet come to town, and my stay 
was uncertain; so I could not undertake it; but from the in- 
cident I thought it likely, that if I were to remain in £ng« 
land and open a swimming school, I might get a good deal of 
money; and it struck me so strongly, that had the overtare 
been made me sooner, probably I should not so soon have re- 
turned to America. Many years after, you and I had some- 

■tiing of more importauce to do with one of those sons of sir 
WiUiann Wyndham, become earl of Egremontyv which I shall 
QittiMion in its placo» < • 

Tbfis I passed about eighteen months in London; most part 
of the time I worked hard at my business, and spent but lit- 
tle upon myself except in seeing p)ays» and in books. My 
friend Ralph had kept me poor; he owed me about twenty- 
seven pounds* which I was now never likely to receive; a 
great sum out of my small earnings! I loved him notwith- 
standing* for he had many amiable* qualities* I had improved 
my knowledge* however, though I had by no means improved 
my fortune: but I had made some very ingenious acquaint- 
ance» whose conversation was of great advantage to me; and 
I had read considerably. 

. We sailed from Gravesend on the 23d of July* 1726. For 
tiie incidents of the voyage, I refer you to my journal*^ where 
yon will find tli m all minutely related. Ferjiaps the most im- 
portant part of that journal is the plan^ to be found 1ft it* 
which I formed at sea for regulating tlie future conduct of my 
life. It 18 the more remarkable* as being formed when I was 
BO young* and yet being pretty faithrully adhered to quite 
through to old age. 

We lawled at Philadelphia the 11th of October* where I 
foond sundry alterations. Keith was no longer governor* be- 
ing sapersed d by major Ciordon: I met him walking the 
streets as a common citizen : he seemed a little ashamed at 
seeing me* and passed without saying any thing. I should 
have been as much ashamed at seeing Miss Read* had 
not her friends, despairing with reason of my return* after 
the receipt of my letter* persuaded her to marry another* one 
Rogers, a potter* which was done in my absence. With him* 
however* sfie was never happy* and soon parted from him* 

* See Appendix. 

^ This plan does not exist in the manuscript journal found among Dr. 
FranUin's papers; which appears, by a note thereon, to be a **coptf made 
«( JSUading» ( JV. .Ameriea,) the 2d Oct. \7S7V. 

54 M£H0IB8 Of 

rerttsiof to cobairit with him, or bear his namey it being i 
said be had another wife. He was a worthless fellow^ thoagb 
an exre)h*nt workman, •which was the temptation to^h^ 
friends: he got into debtj ran away in 1727 or 1728; went 
to the Wi*st In£es» and died there. Keiiner had f^t a better 
house, a> shop well supplied with stationary, plenty of new 
types, and a number of hamls, though none good, and seen^ 
ed to hare a great deal of business. 

Mr. Denhaai to6k a store in Water street, where we open- 
ed our goods; I attended the business diligently, studied ac- 
counts, and grew in a little time expert at selling. We lodged 
and boarded together; he counselled me as a father, baring a 
sincere regard for me: I respected and loved him, and we 
might have gone on together very happily; but in the begin- 
ning of February, 1727, when I ha^l juBt passed my tweaty- 
first year, we botli were taken ill. My distemper was a pies-* 
risy, which very^ nearly carried me off; I suflfered a good 
deal, gave up the point in my own mind, and wa^ at the time 
rather disai^inted when I found myself recovering; regret- 
ting in some degree, that I must now some time or other^ 
have all that disagi*eeable work to go over again^ I fcrgot 
what Mr. Denham's distemper was; it held him a long time, 
and at length carried him oSl He left me a small legacy in a 
nuncupative will^ as a token of his kindness for me, and lie 
left me once more to the wide world; for the store was taken 
into the care of his executors,, and my employment ander 
him ended. My brother-in-law. Holmes, being now at Pbila* 
delphia, advised my return to my busineHs; and Keimer 
tempted me with an ofler of large wages by the year, to come 
and take the management of his printing house, that he might 
better attend to his stationer's shop. I had heard a bad cbar^ 
acter of him in London, from his wife and her Mends, and 
was not for having any more to do with him. I wished for 
employment as a merchant's clerk, but not meeting with any, 
I closed again with Keimer. 1 found in his house* tiaese hands: 
Hugh Mereditli, a Welsh Pennsylvanian, thirty years of age> 
bred to country work; |ie was honesty sensible, a^ man- of 

B£irjjU«3r VRAHKLUr. 5$ 

p» and fond of reading, but addicted to drinking. 
Stephen Putts^ a yoiuig countryman of full age, bred to the 
aame, of uncommon natural parts, and great wit and humor; 
but a Itttk idle. These he had agreed with at extreme low 
waiges per week, to be raised a shilling OTery three months^ 
aattiey sliould deserve by improving in their business; and 
ii» «Sspectation of these high wages to come on hereafter, 
was what he had drawn them in with. Meredith was to work 
at press. Potts at bookbinding, which he by ag|reement was 
to teach them, though he knew neither one nor the other. 
John Savage^ an Irishman, broaght up to nb business, whose 
serrice for fiour years Keimer had purchased from the cap- 
tain of a ship; he too was to be made a pressman. George 
Webb» an Oxford scholar, whose time for four years he had 
likewise bought, intending him for .a compositor (of whom 
more presently); and David Harry, a country boy, whom he 
had taken apprentice. 

I soon perceived that the intention of engaging roe at wa- 
geSf 80 mocfa higher than he had been used to give, was to 
haye these raw, che-ap hands, formed through me; and as 
soon as I had instructed them, (they being all articled to him) 
be should be able to do without me. I went however very 
cheerfully, put his printing house in order, which had been 
ID great oonfusion, and brought his hands bytlcgreestomind 
tiieir bosinesst and to do it better. 

It was an odd thing to find an Oxford scholar in the situa- 
tion of a bought servant ; he was not more than eighteen years 
of age, and he gave me this account of himself: that he was 
bfim in Oloocester, educated at a grammar school, and had 
been distinguislied among the scholars for some apparent su- 
periorfty in performing his part, when they exhibited plays; 
brliN^^ to the W4t'8 club there, and had written some pieces 
in prose and verse, which were printed in the Gloucester news^ 
papers; thence was sent to Oxford; there he continoed about 
a year, huA not weU satisfied; wishing of aH thii^ to see 
Lsiidon^and becmne a ]dayer» At length receiving his qvmt^ 
ierip^ flibwaaoe oE fiAsoB gniiieas^ instead 6C &c!mrging fa^ 

56 HEMOIBS 09 

debts, he went out of town, bid bis gown in a fbrze bushi 
and walked to London^ where having no iricnd to advifie hinif 
he tell into bad company, soon spent bis guineas, tound no 
means of being introduced among the players, grew neces* 
sitous, pawned his clothes, and wanted bread, talking the 
street very hungry, and not knowing what to do with himseir, 
a crimp's bill was put into his band, offering immediate en- 
tertainment and encouragement to such as would bind them- 
selves to serve in America: be went directly, signed the in- 
dentures, was put into the ship and came over; never writing 
a line to his friends to acquaint them what was become of 
bim: he was lively, witty, good-natured, and a pleasant 
companion; but iUie, thoughtless, and imprudent to the last 

John, the Irishman, soon ran away; with the rest 1 began 
to live very agreeably, for they all res^iected me tbe more, as 
they found Keimer incapablv of instructing them, and that 
from me they learned something daily. My acquaintance 
with ingenious people in tlie town increased. We never work- 
ed on Saturday, that being Keimer's Sabbath, so that I had 
two days for reading. Keimer himself treated me with great 
civility and apparent regard, and nothing now made me un- 
easy but my debt to Vernon, which I was yet unable to pay, 
being hitherto but a poor economist: he however kindly made 
no demand of it. 

Our printing house often wanted sorts, and there was no 
Ietter-foundei7 in America; I had seen types cast at James's 
in London, but without much attention to the manner: how- 
ever, I now contrived a mould, and made use of the letters 
we had as puncheons, struck the matrices in lead, and thoa 
supplied in a pretty tolerable way all deficiencies. I also en* 
graved several things on occasion ; made the ink; I was ware- 
houseman, and in short quite h fae-tetum. 

But however serviceable I might be, I foui^ that my ser- 
vices became every day of less impertimre, as ttie other bands 
improved in their business; and when Keimer paid me a se- 
cond quarter's wages^ be let me know tliat he felt them too 



hUiVj, and thought I should niako an abatement. He grew 
by degrees less civil, put on more the airs of master, fre* 
quenfly found fault, was captious, and seemed ready for an 
eotrbreaking. I went on nevertheless with a good deal of pa- 
tience, thinking that his incumbered circ^umstances were 
partly the cause. At length a trifle snapped our connexion; 
for a great noise happening near the court-house, I put my 
bead out of the window to see what was the matter. Keimer 
being in the street looked up and saw me, called out to me 
Id a loud voice and an angry tone, to mind my business ; add- 
ing some reproachful words, that nettled me the more for 
their publicity; all the neighbors who were looking out on 
the same occasion being witnesses how I was treated. He 
came up immediately into the printing house, continued the 
quarrel ; high words passed on both sides, he gave me the 
quarter's warning we had stipulated, expressing a wish that 
be had not been obliged to si^long a warning. I told him his 
wish was unnecessary, for I would leave him that instant; 
and so taking my hat walked out of doors, desiring Mere- 
dith, whom I saw below, to take care of some things I lefty 
and bring them to my lodgings. 

Meredith came accordingly in the evening, wh^n we talked 
my affair over. He had conceived a great regard for me, and 
was very unwilling that I should leave the house while be re* 
mained in it. He dissuaded me from returning to my native 
country, which I began to think of; he ivminded me that 
Keimer was in debt for all he possessed, that liis creditors 
began to be uneasy; that he kept his shop miserably, isold 
often without a profit for ready money, and often trusted 
witbout keeping accounts: that he must therefore fail, which 
would make a vacancy I might profit of. I objected ray want 
of money. He then let me know that his father had a high 
opinion of me, and from some discourse that had passed be- 
tween them, he was sure would advance money to set me 
up, if I would enter into partnership with him. My time, said 
he, will be out with Keimer in tiie spring; by that time we 
Voi.1. I 

51 u£MQCSs eic 

. may have our press and types in from London; I am sensi* 
ble I am no workman* If you likeJt, yovr skill in the busi^ 
ness sIihII he set against the stock I iiirnLsli, and we will 
shari' the pinifits equally. The prtiposal was agreeable to me* 
and i consented: bis father was in ttiwn and approved of it; 
the more as he said I had great influence with bis son* had 
prevailed on him to abstain long from dram*drinking9 and 
he hoped might break him of that wretched babit Mitirely 
Ivhen we came to be so closely connected. I gave an in¥eii- 
tory to the fatiier^ who carried it to a merchant: the thiags 
were sent for^ the secret was to be kept till they sliould ar« 
rive, and in tlie mean time I was to get work» if I could» at 
the other nrinting house. Buf I found no vacancy there^ and 
ao remained idle a few days» when Keimcr, on a prospect of 
being employed to print some paper-money in New Jersey^ 
which would require cuts and various types, that I only could 
supply, and apprehending Bradford might engage me and 
get the job from iiim, sent me a very civil message, that old 
friends should not part fbr a few words, the efiect of sudden 
passion, and wishing me to n>tum. Mereditli persuaded me 
to comply, as it would give more opportunity for his improve^ 
ment under my daily instructions; so I returned, and we 
went on more smootlily than for some time before. The New 
Jersey job was obtained, I contrived a copper*plate press 
for it, the first that had been seen in the country; I cut seve- 
ral ornaments and checks for the bilk. We went together to 
BurlfhgtoH, where I executed the whole to satisfaction; and 
be received so large a sum for the work as to be enabled 
(hereby to keep himself longer from ruin. 

At Burlington I made an acquaintance with many princi- 
pal people of the province. Several of them had been ap- 
pointed by the assembly a committee to attend the press, and 
take rare that no more hills were printed than the law direct* 
ed. They were therefore by turns constantly with us, and ge- 
neraliy he who attended brought witli him a friend or two 
for company. My mind having been much more improved by 
reading than Kcimer% I suppose it was for that reason my 

eoiiTerssition seemed to be more valued. They bdd me to 
their booses^ introduced me to their rriends^ and stitfwed me 
much civility ; while he^ though the maBter> was a little neg-^ 
lected. Id truth, be whs an odd creature; ignorant of cora^ 
mon lire, fond of rudely opposing received opinions; slovenly 
to extreme dirtiness; enthusiastic in some points of religion^ 
and a little iinavish withal. We continued there near tlire^ 
months; and by that time I could redkon among my acquired 
friends, judge Allen, Samuel Bustill, the secretary of thd 
province, Isaac Pearson, Joseph Cooper, and several of the 
Smiths, members of assembly, and Isaac Decow, the surveyor 
general. The latter was a shrewd, sagacious old man, who 
told me that he began for himself when young, by wheeling 
clay for the brickmafcers, learned to write after he was of 
«ge» carried the chain for surveyors^ who taught him survey- 
ing, and lie bad now by his industry acquired a good estate; 
and said he, I foresee that you wilt soon work this man out 
of his btisiness, and make a fortune in it at Philadelphia. Be 
had then not the least intimation of my intention to set up 
there or any where. These friends were afterwards of great 
use to me, as I occasionally was to some of thenu They all 
continued their regard for me as long as they lived. 

Before I enter upon my public appearance in business, it 
may be well to let you know the then state of my mind, with 
regard to ny principles and morals, that you may see how 
far those iniuenced the future events of my life. My parents 
had eariy ^en me religious impressions, and brought m6 
through my childhood piously in the dissenting way. But t 
was scarce fifteen, when after (foubting by turns several points^ 
as I found them disputed in the different books I read,. I be* 
gan to doiil^ of the revelation itself. Some books againdt 
deism felt into my hands, they were said to be the substance 
of the sermons which had been preached at Boyle's lectures. 
It happened that they wrought an Mfect on me quite contrary 
to what was intended by them. For the arguments of the 
DeistB whieh were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much 
stronger than the refutations; ia shorty I soon became a tho« 

60 MBH0IR9 OF 

rough Deist My arguments perverted some others^ partico^ 
larly Collins and Ralph: but each of these having wronged 
me greatly without the least compunction; and recollecting 
Keith's conduct towards me, (wlio was another freethinker) 
and my own towards Vernon and Miss Read, which at times 
gave me great troui>lej I began to suspect that this doctrine^ 
though it might be true» ^as not very useful. My London 
pamphlet* (printed in tT25) which had for its motto» thwe 
lines of Dryden : 

— — " Whatever is, is right. Tho* purhlind man 

Sees but a part o* the chain, the nearest link ; 

His eye not carrying to that equal beam. 

That poises all above——" 

and which from the attributes of Gkid^ bis infinite wisdom. 

. ' Dr. Franklin in a part of a letter to Mr. B. Vaughan, dated Nov. 9, 
1779, gives a further account of this pamphlet, in these words. 

** It was addressed to Mr. L li., that is, James Balph, then a yoath of 
about my ag^, and my intimate friend; afterwards a political writer and 
historian. The purport of it was to prove the doctrine of fate, from the 
'8Up{k)8ed attributes of Cxod; in some such manner as this: that in erect* 
ing and governing the world, *as he was infinitely wise, he knew what 
would be best; infinitely good, he must be disposed, and infinitely power- 
ful, he must be able, to execute it: consequently all U riffht, 

*' There were only an hundred copies printed^ of which I g^ve a few 
to friends, and afterwards disliking the piece, as conceiving it might 
have an ill tendency, I burnt the rest, except one copy, the margfin of 
which was filled with manuscript notes by L^entt author of the InfaBht" 
Uty of Human, Judgment^ who was at that time another of my acquaint- 
ance in London. I was not nineteen years of age when it was written. In 
1730, 1 wrote a piece on the other side of the question, which beg^ with 
laying for its foundation this fact ; ' That almost aU men in aU ages andcpwi' 
tries, have attunes made use of praybr.' Thence I reasoned, that if all 
things arc ordained, prayer must among the rest be ordained. But as 
prayer can procure no change in thingfs that are ordained, praying must 
then be useless, and an absurdity. God would therefore not ordain pray- 
ing if every thing else was ojjdained. But praying exists, therefore all 
things are not ordained, &f . This pamphlet was never printed, and the 
manuscript has been long lost. The great uncertainty I found in meta- 
physical reasonings disgusted me, and I quitted that kind of reading and 
study for others more satisfactor}\*» 


goodness and power, concluded that nothing conid possibly 
be wrong in the world; and that vice and virtue were. empty 
distinctions, no such things existing; appeared now not so 
clever a performance as I once thought it; and I doubted 
whether some error had not insinuated itself unperceived into 
mj argoment, so as to infect all that followed, as is common 
in metaphysical reasonings. I grew convinced that truth, sin- 
eeriiy, and integrity, in dealings between man and man, were 
of the utmost importance to the felicity of life; and I formed 
written resolutions (which still remain in my journal book) 
to practise them ever while I lived* Revelation had indeed no 
weight with me as such; but I entertained an opinion, that 
though certain actions might not be bad, because they were 
forbidden by it, or good because it commanded them; yet pro- 
bably those actions might be forbidden because they were bad 
for us, or commanded because they were beneficial to us, in tlieir 
own natures, all the circumstances of things considered* And 
this persuasion, with the kind hand of Providence, or some 
guardian Hinge], or accidental favorable circumstances and 
situations, or all together, preserved me through this danger- 
ons timd of youth and the hazardous situations I was sometimes 
in among strangers, i*emote from the eye and advice of my fa- 
ther; free from Bny wUJul gross immorality or injustice, that 
might have been expected from my want of religion; I say 
ivUfuU because the instances I have mentioned had something 
of necessity in them, from my youth, inexperience, and the 
knavery of others: I had therefore a tolerable character to 
begin the world with; I valued it properly, and determined 
to preserve it. 

We had not been long returned to Philadelphia, before the 
new types arrived from London. We settled with Keimer, 
and left him by his consent before he heard of It. We found 
a bouse to hire near the market, and^took it. To lessen the 
rent (which was then but* twenty-four pounds a year, though 
I have since known it let for seventy) we took in Tliomas 
Godfrey, a glazier, and his family, who were to pay a con- 
siderable part of it to us^ and we to board with them. We 

68 MB!tfOR8 OY 

had scarce opened oar letters and put our press in order^ be* 
fore George House, an acquaintance of mine, brought a couih 
tryman to us, whom he had met in the street, inquiring for a 
printer. Alt our cash was now expended in the tariety of 
particulars we had been obliged to procui*e, and this country- 
man's five shillings, being our first fruits, and coming so sea- 
sonably, gave me more pleasure than any crown I have since 
earned; and from the gratitude I felt towards House, has 
made me often more ready, than perhaps I otherwise should 
have been, to assist young beginners. * 

There are croakers in every country always boding its 
ruin. Such an one tiiere lived in Philadelphia, a person of 
note^ an elderly man, with a wise looii and a very grave 
manner of speaking; his name was Samuel Mickle* This 
gentleman, a stranger to me, stopped me one day at my door, 
and asked me iff was the young man who had lately opened a 
new printing house? Being answered in the affirmative, he 
said he was sorry for me, because it was an expensive under- 
taking, and the expense would be lost, for Philadelphia was a 
sinking {dace, the people already half bankrupts, or near be- 
ing so; all the appearances of the contrary, such as new 
buildings and the rise of rents being to his certain knowledge 
faUacious: for they were in fact among the things that would 
rain us. Then be gave me such a detail of misfortunes now 
existing, or that were soon to exist, that he left me half me- 
lancholy. Had I known him before I engaged in this business 
probably I never should have done it. This person continued 
to live in tliis decaifing place, and to declaim in the same 
strain, refusing for many years to buy a house there, because 
ail was going to destruction; and at last I had the i>leasttre of 
seeing him give five-times as much for one as he might have 
bought it for when he flrsft began croakrifg. 

I should have mentioned before, that in the autumn of th^ 
preceding year, I had formed most of my ingenious acquain*' 
taoce into a club for mutual improvement, which we called the 
Jtrirto; we met on Friday eveaings. The rules that I drei^ 
up repaired that 6? ery mtdlber in hid turn dbbald prednce 

one or mart queries on ais^ point of noraby politics^ or na- 
tural philosophy, to be discussed by the company: and oiice 
in three uiotitbs produce and read an essay of tiis own writ- 
inj^y on any subject lie pleased. Our debates were to be under 
the direction of a president^ and to be conducted in the sin- 
cere spirit of inquiry alter trutht wittiout fondness for dis^ 
pute, or desire of victory; and to prevent warmtby all ei^res^ 
sionsof positiveness in opinions, or direct contradiction^ wen 
after some time made contrabands and prohibited under small 
pi cnniary penalties. 

The first members were, J<;8eph Brientnal, a copyer of 
deeds lor the scriveners; a good natured friendly middle-aged 
manf a great lover of poetry, reading all he could meet with, 
and writing some that was tolerable; very ingenious in mak- 
log little nicknackeries, and of sensible conversation. 

Thomas Godfrey, a self-taught mathematician, great in his 
way, and afterwards inventor of what is now called Hddltfs 
Quadrant. But he knew little out of his way, and was not a 
pleasing companion; as, like most great mathematicians I 
have met with, he expected universal precision in every thing 
said, or was for ever denying or distinguishing upon trifles, 
to the disturbance of all conversation; lie soon left us. 

Nicholas Scully a surveyor, afterwards surveyor general, 
who loved books, and sometimes niade^ few verses. 

William Parsons, bred a shoemaker, but loving reading, 
bad acquired a considerable share of mathematics, which ho 
first studied with a view to astrology, and afterwards laughed 
at it: he also became surveyor general. 

William Maugridge, joiner, but a most exquisite mechanic, 
and a solid, sensible man. 

Hugh Meredith, Stephen Potts, and George Webb, I have 
characterised before. 

Bob^rt Grace, a young gentleman of some fortune, gene- 
rous, lively, and witty; a lover of punning and of his friends. 

Lastly, William Coleman, then a merchant's clerk, about 
nay age, who had the coolest, clearest head, the best heart, 
and the exactest morals of almost any man I ever wet with. 

-64 , ' MEMOIRS OF 

He became afterwards a merchant of great note, and one of 
our provincial judges. Our friendship continued without in- 
terruption to his deathy upwards of forty years; and the club 
continued almost as iongy and was the best school of philoso- 
phy, inoralityy and politicsy tliat then existed in tlie province; 
for our queries^ (which were read the week preceiling their 
discussion) put us upcm readin.;^ with attention on the several 
subjects, that we might speak more to the puqiose : and here 
too, we acquired better habits of conversation, every thing 
being studied in our rules which might prevent our disgust- 
ing each other; hence the long continuance of the club, 
which I shall have frequent occasion to speak further of here- 
after. But my giving this account of it here, is to shew some- 
thing of the interest I iiad, every one of these exerting them- 
selves in recommending business to us. Brientnal particularly 
procured us from the quakers, the printing of forty sheets of 
their history,, the rest being to be done by Keimer; and upon 
these we worked exceeding hard, for the price was low. It was 
a folio, T^ropafria size, in pica, with long-primer notes. I com- 
posed a sheet a day, and Meredith worked it off at press; it 
was often eleven at night, and sometimes later before I bad 
finished my distribution for tiie next day's work. For the lit- . 
tie jobs sent in by our other friends now and then put us back. 
But so determined I was to continue doing a sheet a day of 
the folio, that one night when having imposed my forms* I 
thought my day's work over, one of tliem by accident was 
broken, and two pages reduced to ;ne. I immediately distri- 
buted, and composed it over again before 1 went to bed: and 
this industry, visible to our neighbors, began to give ns char- 
acter and credit; particularly 1 was told, that mention being 
made of the new printing office, at the merchants^ every- 
night club, the general opinion was that it must fail, there 
being already two printers in the place, Keimer and Bi-ad- 
ford ; but Dr. Baird, (whom you and I saw many years after 
at his native place, St. Andivw's in Scotland) gave a contra- 
ry opinion ; « For the industry of that Franklin," said he, 
'< is superior to any thing I ever saw of the kind; I see him 


still at work when I go borne from club» and lie is at work 
again before his neighbors are out of bed/' This struck the 
rest, and we soon after had offers Trom one of them to sup- 
plj us. with stationary; but as yet we did not chuse to en- 
gage in shop business. 

I mentioned tliis industry the more particularly and the 
more fi*eely, though it seems to be talking in my own praise, 
that those of my posterity who shall read it, may know the 
Qse (:f that virtue, when they see its effects in my faTor 
throughout this relation. 

George Webb, who had found a female friend that lent 
him wherewith to purchase his time of Keimer, now came to 
offer himself as a journeyman to us. We could not then em- 
ploy him, but I foolishly let him know, as a secr^ that I soon 
intended to begin a newspa|)er, and might then have work 
for him. My hopes of success, as I told him were founded on 
tiiis ; that the tlien only newspaper printed by Bradford, was 
a paltry thing, wretchedly managed, no way entertaining, and 
yet was profitable to him; I therefore freely thought a good 
paper would scarcely fall of good encouragement. I request- 
ed Webb not to mention it, but he told it to Keimer, who im- 
mediately, to be beforehand with me, publislied proposals for 
one himseir, on which Webb was to be employed. I was vexed 
at this, and to counteract them, not being able to commence 
our paper, I wrote several amusing pieces for Bradford's ^a- 
per, under the title of the Bust Body, which Breintnal con- 
tinued some months. By this means the attention of the pub- 
lic was fixed on that paper, and Keimer's proposals, which 
we burlesqued and ridiculed, were disregarded. He began his 
paper however, and before carrying it on three quarters of a 
year, with at most only ninety subscribers, he offered it me 
for a trifle; and I, having been ready some time to go on with 
i^ took it in hand directly; and it proved in a few years ex- 
tremely profitable to me. 

I perceive that I am apt to speak in the singular number, 
though our partnership still continued ; it may be that in fact 

66 MEMOIRS or 

the wiiole managemeiit of the business lay upon roe. Mt^* 
ditli was no compositor, a poor pressman, and seldom sober. 
Mj friends lamented my connexion with him, but I tias to 
make tlie best of it. 

Our first papers made quite a different appearance from 
any before in the province; a better type and better printed: 
but some remarks^ of my writing on the dispute then going 

* <' His excellency governor Burnet, died unexpectedly about two dty« 
«fter the date of this reply to bis last message ; and it was thoaght tfae 
dispute would have ended with him, or at least have lain dormant till the 
arrival of a new governor from England, who possibly might or might 
not be inclined to enter too vigorously into the measures of his prede- 
cessor. But out lut advices by the post acquaint us, that his honor the 
fientenant-governer, (on whom the government immediately devolves up* 
on the death or 1l>sence of the commander4n-ch lef,) has vigorously re* 
newed the struggle on his own account, of which the particulars will be 
seen in our next. 

" Perhaps some of our readers may not fully understand the original 
groimd of this warm contest between the governor and assembly. It 
seems, thai people have for these hundred years past, enjoyed the privi- 
lege of rewarding the governor for the time being, according to theif 
$etue of his merit and services j and few or none of their (rovemors have 
complained, or had cause to complain, of a scanty allowance. When the 
late governor Burnet brought with him instructions to demand & 9ettkd 
9alary of 1000 pounds sterling per annum, on him and all his successors, 
«nd the assembly were required to fix it immediately: he insisted on it 
strenuously to the last, and they as constantly refused it. It appears by 
their votes an<ji proceedings, that they thought it an imposition, contrary 
to their own charter, and to Ma^rtui Charta; and they judged that there 
Bhould he a mutual dependence between the governor and governed; and 
Ihat to make the governor independent would be dangerous and deslnic- 
tive to their liberties, and thfi ready way to establish tyranny. They 
thought likewise that the province was not the less dependent on thft 
crown of Great Britain, by the governor's depending immediately oa 
them, and his own good conduct, for an ample support; because all acts 
and laws, which he might be induced to pass, must nevertheless be con- 
stantly sent home for approbation, in order to continue in force. Many 
other reasons were given, and arguments used in the coune of the con- 
troversy, needless to particularise here, because all. the material p«ptt« 
relating to it have been already given in our public news. 


«i between governor Bamet, and the Maasacbusetts asaem- 
U7, struck the principal people, occasioned the paper and 
the fluuiager of it to be mnch talked of, and in a few weeks 
brought them all to be our subscribers. 

Their example was followed by many, and our number 
went on growing continual] j. This was one of the first good 
efcds of my haTii^ learned a little to scribble; another was^ 
that the hading men seeing a newspaper, now in the hands 
of those who could also handle a pen, thought it convenient 
to oblige and encourage me. Bradford still printed the votes, 
and laws, and otiier public business. He had printed an ad* 
tfreaa of the house to- the governor, in a coarse, blundering 
Manner: we reprinted it elegantly and correctly, and sent 
one to every member. They were sensible of the difference, 
it strengthened the hands of our friends in the house, and 
they voted us their printers for the year ensuing. 

Among my friends in the house, I must not forget Mr. 
Hamilton, before mentioned^ who was then returned from 
£ngland, aad had a seat in it. He interested himself for me 

"Much. deserved praise lus the deceased governor received for his 
steady integrity in adhering to his instructions, notwithstanding the 
great difficulty and opposition he met with, and the strong temptations 
offered from tiniie to time to induce him to give up the point. And yet, 
perhaps» something is due to the assembly, (as the love and aeal of that 
.cooDtiy for the present establishment is too well known to suffer any sus- 
picion of want of loyalty) who continue tims resolutely to abide by what 
ihey think their right, and that of the people they represent; maugre all 
the arts and menaces of a governor, famed for his cunning and politics, 
fmcked with instructions from home, and powerfully aided by the great 
adTSBtagc auch an officer always has of engaging the principal men of a. 
pUee 10 his party* by conferring where he pleases^ so many posts of pra- 
fit and honor. Their happy mother countiy will perhaps observe, with 
pleasure, that though her gallant cocks and matchless dogs abate their 
natural fire and intrepidity, when transported to a foreign clime, (as this 
nation is) yet iier soks in the remotest part of the earth, and even to the 
third and fourth descent, still retain tliat ardent spirit of liberty, and tha^ 
vndaunted courage, which has in every age so gloriously distinguished 
Britoss andfiNCLisHMBM, from the rest of mankind." 


Strongly in that instance, as he did in many others afterwards 
continuing his patronage till his death." 

Mr. Vernon, about this time, put nie in mind of the debt I 
owed him, but did not press me. - 1 wrote him an ingenaoos 
letter of acicnowledgment, craving his forbearance a litfle 
longer, which he allowed me; as soon as I was able, i paid 
the principal with the interest, and many thanks: so that er- 
ratum was in some degree corrected. 

But now another difficulty came upon me, which I had ne« 
Ter the least reason to expect Mr. Meredith's ftither, who 
was to have paid for our printing bouse, according to the ex* 
pectations given me, was able to advance only one hundred 
pounds currency, which had been paid ; and a hundred more 
was due to the merchant, who grew impatient, and sued us 
all. We gave bail, but saw that if the money could not be 
raised in time, the suit must soon come to a judgment and 
execution, and our hopeful prospects must with us be ruined; 
as the press and letters must be sold for payment, perhaps at 
half price. In this distress two true friends, whose kindness 
I have never forgotten, nor ever shall forget, while I can re- 
member any thing, came to me separately, unknown to each 
other, and without any application from roe, offered each of 
them to advance me all the money that should be necessary 
to enable me to take the whole business upon myself, if that 
should be practicable; but they did not like my continuing 
the partnership with Meredith; who, as they said, was often 
seen drunk in the street, playing at low games in alehouses, 
much to our discredit — ^these two friends were William Cole* 
Tnan and Robert Chraee. I told them I could not propose a se- 
paration, while any prospect remained of the Merediths ful- 
filling their part of our agreement; because I thought myself 
under great obligations to them for what they had done, and 
would do if they could: but if they finally failed in their per- 
formance, and our partnership roust be dissolved, I should 

' J afterwards obtained for his son Jitfe hundred powndt^ 

BENJASIUf f£A:!fKX.IX. 69 

tiMn think myself at liberty to accept the assistance of my 
friends: thus the matter rested for some time; when I said 
to my partner, perhaps your father is dissatisfied at the part 
you have undertaken in this affair of ours, and is unwilling 
to advance for you and me, what he would for you? If that 
is the caset tell me, and I will resign the whole to you>. and 
go about my business. No, said he, my father has really been 
disappointed, and is really unable; and I am unwilling to dis* 
tress.him further. I see this is a business I am not fit for. I 
was bred a farmer, and it was a folly in me to come to town 
and pot myself, at thirty yeai*s of age, an apprentice to learn 
a new trade. Many of our Welsh people are going to settle 
in North Carolina, where land is cheap. I am inclined to go 
with thern^ and follow my old employment: you may find 
friends to assist you: if you will take the debts of the com- 
pany upon you, return to my father the hundred pounds he 
has advanced, pay my little personal debts, and give me 
thirty pounds and a new saddle, I will relinquish the part- 
nerstupy and leave the whole in your hands. I agreed to this 
proposal; it was drawn up in writing, signed and sealed im- 
mediately. I gave him what he demanded, and he went soon 
after to Carolina; whence he sent me, next year, two long 
letters, containing the best account that had been given of 
that country, the climate, the soil, huAandry, &c., for in 
those matters he was very judicious:^ printed them in the 
fsfevs, and they gave giTat satisfaction to the public. 

As soon as he was gone, I recurred to oiy two friends; and 
because I would not give an unkind preference to either, I 
took half what each had offered, and I wanted, of one, and 
bidf of the other; paid off the company's debts, and went on 
with the business in my own name; advertising that the part- 
nership was dissolved. I think this was in or about the year 

AboQt this time there was a cry among the people for more 
paper-money; only fifteen tliousand pounds being extant in 
the province, and that soon to be sunk. The wealthy inhabi- 
tants opposed any addition; being against all paper cnrrcn- 

70 U%HQIM» OF 

cjf from the iqiprehensioii that it would depreciate, as it 
done in New £ngiand, to the injury of all creditors* Wo had 
discussed this point in our junto, where I was on the side of 
An addition; being persuaded that the first small sum, .struck 
in 1723, had done much good by increasing the trade, employ*- 
nent, and number of inhabitants in the province; since I now 
saw all the old houses inhabited, and many new ones build- 
ing; whereas I remembered well when I first walked about 
the streets of Philadelphia, (eating my roll,) i saw many of 
(he houses in Walnut street, between Second and Front streets^ 
with bills on their doors **to be Uif^ and matqr likewise in 
Chestnut street, and other sti*eets; which made me think the 
inhabitants of the city were one after another desertijig it 
Our debates possessed me so fully of the subject, that I wrote 
and printed an anonymous pamphlet on it, entitled <« ThtJfk^ 
iurt and ^Pu^asity of a Paper Currency.*' It was well received 
by ttie common people in general; lint the rich men disliked 
it, for it increased and strengthened the clamor for more iiio* 
ney ; and they happening to have no writers among them thai 
were able to answer it, their opposition slackened, and the 
ipint was carried by a majority in the boose. My friends 
there, who considered I had been of some service, thooght 
fit to reward me, by employing me in printing the money ; a 
rtvy profitable job,* and a great help to me: this was ano- 
ther advantage gained* by my being able to write. 

The utility of this currency be<;ame by time and experi- 
ence so evident, that the principles upon which it was fonnd- 
ed, were never afterwards much disputed; so that it grew 
soon to fifty-five thousand pounds; and in 1739, to eighty 
thousand pounds; trade, building and inhabitants all the 
while increasing: though I now think there are liauts h^ 
yond which the quantity may be hurtful. 
. I soon after obtained through my friend Hamilton, tiie 
printing of the Newcastle paper-money, another profitable 
job, as I then thought it; small things appearing great to 
those in small circumstances: and these to me were really 
great advantages, as they were great encourageaeiits. Mr. 

in procured me also the printing of the laws and votes 
of that government; which continued in my bands as long 
as I followed the business. 

I DOW opened a small stationer's shop: I had in it blanks 
•r all kinds; the correctest that ever appeared among us. I 
was assisted in that by my friend Breintnal : I had also pa- 
per, parchment^ chapn^en's books, ftc. One Whitemasii, a 
eoiopositor I had known in London, an excellent workman, 
low came to me, and worked with me constantly and dili' 
gently; and I took an apprentice, the son of Aquila Rose. 

I began now gradually to pay off the debt I was under for 
the printing bouse. In order to secure iny credit and charac- 
ter as a tradesman, I took care not only to be in reality in- 
dtttrious and frugal, but to avoid the appearances to the con- 
trary. I dressed plain, and was seen at no places of idle di- 
v«sidn: I never went out a fishing or shooting: a book in- 
deed sometimes debauched me from my work, but that was 
seldom, was private, and gave no scandal: and to shew that 
I was not above my business, I sometimes brought home the 
paper 1 purchased at the stores, through the streets on a 
wheeFbarrow. Thus being esteemed an industrious, thriving 
yoang man, and paying duly for what I bought, the mer- 
chants who Imported stationary solicited my custom; others 
pnqiosed supplying me with books, and I went on prosper- 
ooaly. In the mean time Keiraei*'s credit and business declin- 
11^ daily, be was at last forced to sell his printing house, to 
silarfy his creditors. He went to Barbadoes and there lived 
sooie years in very poor circumstances. 

His apprentice, David Harry, whom I had instructed while 
I worked with him, set up in his place at Philadelphia, hav- 
ii|g bought his materials. I was at first apprehensive of a 
powerful rival in Harry, as his friends were very able, and 
liad a good deal of interest: I therefore proposed a partner- 
ship to biro, which he fortunately for me, rejected with scorn. 
B» was ytftj proud, dressed like a gentleman, lived expen* 
flivdy, took much diversiott and pleasure abroad, ran in debt, 
aal acgtected his iMsinessj upon which, all business left 

7d liEMOIBS 0¥ 

bim; and finding nothing to do, be followed Keimer turjfor* 
badoes, taking the printing liouse with him. Tliere tliis ap^ 
prentice employed his Ibrniet- master as a journeyman; they 
quarreled often, and Harry went continually behind hand^ 
and at length was obliged to sell his types, and return to 
country* work hi Pennsylvania. The person who bought tbem, 
empictyed Keimer to use them, but a lew years after he died. 

There remained now no other printer io Philadelphia, but 
the old Bradford; but he was rich and easy, did a litUe in 
the business by straggling hands, but was not anxious about 
it: however as he held the post^fficc, it was imagined be bad 
better opportunities of obtaining news, his paper was thought 
a better distributor of advertisements, than mine, and tliero- 
fore had many more; which was a profitable thing to hifliy 
and a disadvantage to me: For though I did indeed receive 
and send papers by the post, yet the public opinion was others 
wise; for what I did send was by bribing the riders, who 
took them privately; Bradford being unkind enough to for* 
bid it, which occasioned some resentment on my part; and I 
thought so meanly of the practice, that when 1 aflcrwiirds 
canie into his situation, I took care never to imitate it. . 

I had hitherto continued to board with Godfrey, who lived 
in part of my house with his wife and children, and had one 
side of the shop for hisglazier*s business; though he worked 
little, being always absorbed in his mathematics. Mrs. God- 
frey projected a match for me, with a relation's daogbter, 
took opportunities of bringing us often together, till a serious 
courtship on my part ensued ; the girl being in herself very 
deserving. The old folks encouraged me by continual invita- 
tions to supper, and by leaving us together, till at length it 
was time to explain. Mrs. Godfrey managed our little treaty. 
I let her know that I expected as much money with their 
daughter as would pay ofiT my remaining debt 'for the print- 
ing house; which I believe was not then above an hundred 
pounds. She brought me word they had no such sum to spare: 
I said they might mortgage their house in the loan-office. The 
answer to this after some days was, that tbey did not if»<^ 

pove the mateh; that on inquiry of Bradfori, Hiej had been 
iniomied the printing buisness was not a profitttbie onet the 
^pes would soon be worn out and more wnnte<l ; that Reimer 
and David Hariy had failed one after the other, and I should 
probably soon t^low them; and therefore I was forbidden 
tte house, and the daughter shut up. Whether this was a 
real change of sentiment, or only artifice on a supposition of 
our being too far engaged in affection to retract, and there* 
fcre that we should steal a marriage, which would leave them 
at Uberty te give or withhold what they pleased, I Iluow not. 
But I suspected the motive, resentetl if, and went no more* 
Mrs. Godfrey brought me afterwards some more favorable 
aconmits ef their disposition, and would have drawn me on 
•gajn; but I declared absolutely my resolution to have no- 
thing oKire to do with that family. This was resented by the 
Crodfreysy we differed, and they removed, leaving me the 
whole house, and I resolved to take no more inmates. But 
(his affair having turned my thouglits to marriage, I looked 
round me and made overtures of acquaintance in other places; 
Imt soon found that the business of a printer being generally 
thought a poor one, I was not to expect money witfi a wife, 
uiriess with such an one, as I should not otherwise titink 
agreeaUe. In the mean time that hard to be governed pas* 
9ion nf youth, bad hurried me frequently into intrigues with 
low women that feU in my way, whidi were attended with 
some expense and great inconvenience, besides a cotitinud 
ffiaque to my health by a distemper, whicfi of all things I 
dreaded, though by great good luck I escaped it. 

A friendly correspondence as neighbors had continued be* 
fWeen taae and Miss Read's family, who all had a regard for 
ine from the time of my frst lodging in their house. I wag 
tflen inTited there and consulted in their affairs, wherein I 
sometimes was of service. I pitied poor Miss Head*s unfor- 
tunate situation, who was generally dejecterf , seldom cheer- , 
li^ and avoided company: I considered my giddiness and 
inconstancy when in London, as in a great degree the cause 
Tot. f. L 

74 &I£M01'RS OT 

ef her uiihappiness; though the luotlier was good enough to 
think the fault more her own than mine, as she bad prevent- 
ed our marrying befoi*e I went thitlier, and persuaded the 
otiier match in my absence. Our mutual affection was revivedy 
but there were now great objections to our liipion ; that match 
was indeed looked upon as invalid, a preceding wife being 
said to be living in England; but this could not easily be 
proved, because of the distance, &c., and though there was 
a report of bis death, it was not certain. Then, tliough it 
should be true, he had left many debts which bis successor 
might be called upon to pay: we ventured, however, over all 
these difficulties, and I took her to wife, "September 1, 1730. 
None of the inconveniences happened tiiat we had appre- 
hended ; she proved a good and faithful helpmate, assisted 
ine much by attending to the shop; we throve together, and 
ever mutually endeavored to make each other happy* Thus I 
corrected that great erratum as well as I could. 

About this time our club meeting, not at a tavern, but in a 
little room of Mr. Grace's, set apail for that purpose; a pro- 
, position was made by me, that since our books were often re- 
ferred to in our disquisitions upon the queries, it might be 
convenient to us to have them all together where we met, that 
upon occasion they might be consulted; and by thus clubbing 
our books ^o a common library, we should while we liked to 
keep them together, have each of us the advantage of using 
the books of all the other members, which would be nearly 
as beneficial as if each owned the whole. It was liked and 
agreed to, and we filled one end of the room with such books 
as we could best spare. The number was not So gre^it as we 
expected; and though they had been of great use, yet some 
inconveniences occurring for want of due care of them, the 
collection, after about a year, was separated; and each took 
his books home again. 

And now I set on foot my first project of a public nature^ 
that for a subscription library; I drew up the proposals, got 
them put into form by our great scrivener, Brockden, and 
by the help of my friends in the junto, procured fifty sub- 


Kribers of forty shillings each to begin with, and ten shil* 
lings a year for fifty years, the term our company was to con- 
tinue. We afterwards obtained a cliarter, the company being 
increased to one hundred; this was the mother of all tho 
North American subscription libraries, now so numerous. It 
is become a great thin.s; itself, and continually goes on increas- 
ing: these libraries have improved the general conversation 
of the Americans, made the common tradesmen and farmers 
as Intelligent as most gentlemen from other countries, and 
perhaps have contributed in some degree to the stand so ge- 
nerally made throughout the colonies in defence of their pri- 

[Thus far was written with the intention expressed in the be^innini^ ; 
and getting abroad, it excited great interest on account of its simplicity and 
candor; and indaced many applications for a continuance. What follows 
was written many years afler, in compliance with the advice contained in 
the letters that follow: and has therefore less of a family picture^and more 
of a public character. The American revolution occasioned tlie interrupt 





Letter from Mr. Abd Jamesy with Mhies on nty life, 

(Recdved in Parig .) 

'« I HAVE often been desirous of writing to thee, bnt 
^oald not be reconciled to tlie tliooglit, that tlie letter might 
fall into tlie hands of the British, lest some printer or busy 
body should publish some part of the contents, and give our 
friend pain, and myself censure* 

« Some time since there fell into my hands, to my great 
joy, about twenty -three sheets in thy own hand- writing, con- 
taining an account of tlie parentage and life of thyself, di- 
rected to tliy son, ending in the year 1730, with which there 
were notes, likewise in thy writing; a copy of which I inclose^ 
in hopes it may be a means, if thou continued it up to a later 
period* that the first and latter part may be put together ; and 
if it is not yet continued, I hope thee will not delay it. Life 
is uncertain, as tlie preacher tells us; and what will the world 
say if kind, humane, and benevolent Ben. Franklin should 
leave his friends and the world deprived of so pleading and 
profitable a work; a work which would be useful and enter- 
taining not only to a few, but to millions. The influence wri- 
tings under that class have on the minds of youth is very greatf 
and has no where appeared to me so plain, as in our public 
friend*s journals. It almost insensibly leads the youth into 
the resoliitiao of endeavoring to become as good' and eminent 

fli the journalist. Should tbine, for instances when published, 
(luid I thiniL it could not iail of it,) lead tbe youth to equal 
the industry and temperance of tliy early youth» what a bles- 
sing witfi that class would suck a work be! 1 iinow of no 
character living, nor many of them pu^ together, who bus 
so much in bis power as th>self to promote a greater spirit 
of industry and early attention to business, frugality, and 
temperance with the American youth. Not that I think tbe 
work woold have no other merit and use in the world, far 
from It; but the first is of such vast importance, that I know 
nothing that can equal it.'' 

The foregoing letter and the minutes accompanying it be* 
ing shewn to a friend, 1 received from him the following: 

Letter from Mr. Benjamin Vangluifu, 

Paris, January 31, 17 S3. 
•* My dearest Sir, 

«« WHEN 1 had read over your sheets of minutes of tlie 
principal incidents of your life, recovered for you by your 
Qoaker acquaintance; I told you I would send you a letter 
expressing my reasons, why I thought it would be useful . to 
complete and publish it as he desired. Various concerns have 
for some time past prevented this letter being written, and I 
do not know whetht r it was woiih any expectation; hap- 
pening to be at leisure however at present, I shall by writing 
at least interest and instruct myself; but as the terms I am 
inclined to use may tend to offend a person of your manners, 
1 shall only tell you how 1 would address any other person, 
who was as good and as great as yourself, but less diffident. 
I would say to him, sir, I solicit the history of your life from 
the following motives. 

M Tour history is so remarkable, that if you do not give it, 
sometiody else will certainly give it; and perhaps so as nearly 
to do as much harm, as your own management of the thing 
might do good. 

7B SklEMOlRS O^ 

*« It will moreover present a table of tlie internal circnm* 
stances of your country, which will very much tend to invite 
to it settlors of virtuous and manly minds^ And considering 
the eagerness with which such information is sought by themt 
and the extent of your reputation, I do not Jcnow of a more 
efficacious advertisement than your biography would give. 

<< All that has happened to you is also connected with the 
detail of the manners and situation of a rising people; and 
in this respect I do not think that the writings of Ciesar and 
Tacitus can be more interesting to a true judge of human 
nature and society* 

** But these, sir, are small reasons in my opinion, compared 
with the chance which your life will give for the forming of 
future great men; and in conjunction with your Art qf Vtrtut 
(which you design to publish) of improving the features of 
private character, and consequently of aiding all happiness 
both public and domestic. 

The two works I allude to, sir, will in particular give a 
noble rule and example of seff-education. School and other 
education constantly proceed upon false principles, and shew 
a clumsy apparatus pointed at a false mark; but your appa- 
ratus is simple, and the mark a true one; and while parents 
arid young persons are left destitute of other just means of 
estimating and becoming prepared for a reasonable course in 
life, your discovery that the thing is in many a man^s privnte 
power, will bo invaluable! 

'< Influence upon ttie private chai^acter, late in life, is not 
only an influence late in life, but a weak* influence. It is in 
youth that we plant our chief habits ami prejudices; it is in 
youth that we take our party as to profession, pursuits, ami 
matrimony. In youth therefore the turn is given; in j^outh 
the education oven of the next generation is given; in youth 
the private and public character is determined; and the term 
of life extending but from youth to age, life ought to begin 
well from youth; and more especially 6^ore we take oor party 
as to our principal objects. 

*• But your biogi^hy will not merely teach self-education 
but the education of a wise man; and the wisest man will re- 
ceive lights and improve his progress, by seeing detailed the 
conduct of another wise man. And why are weaker men to 
be deprived of sucli lielps» when we see our race has been 
blundering on in the dark, almost without a guide in this par- 
ticular, from the farthest trace of time. Shew tiien, sir, how 
much is to be done, both ta sons and fathers; and invite all 
wise men to become like yourself; and other men to become 

<• When we sec how cruel statesmen and warriors can be 
to the human race, and how absurd distinguished men can 
be to their acquaintance, it will be instructive to observe the 
instances multiply of pacific acquiescing manners; and to find 
how compatible it is to be great and domestic; enviable .and ' 
yet good humored^ 

<• The little, private incidents which you will also have to 
relate, will have considerable use, as we want above all things, 
rules oj prudence in ordinary affairs; and it will be curious 
to see how you have acted in these. It will be so far a sort of 
l^ey to life, and explain many things that all men ought to 
have once explained to them, to give them a chance of be- 
coming wise by foresight. 

*< The nearest thing to having experience of one's own, is 
to have other people's affairs brought before us in a shape 
that is interesting; this w sure to happen from your (len. Your 
affairs and management will have an air of simplicity or im- 
portance that will not fail to strike; and I am convinced you 
have conducted them with as much originality as if you had 
been conducting discussions in politics or philosophy; and 
what more worthy of experiments and system, (its importance 
and its errors considered) than human life ! 

«< Some men have been vii^tuous blindly, others have 
speculated fantastically, and others have been shrewd to bad 
purposes; but you, sir, I am sure, will give under your hand, 
nothing but what is at the same moment^ wise^ practical, and 

«< Tonr acriiaiit of yourself (for I sapi^de the jMMlld t am 
drawing for Dr. Franklin, ^iii hold not only in point of cha- 
racter but of private history) will shew that you are uBhanwd 
of no origin; a thing the more important^ as you prove how 
little necessary all origin is to happiness^ virtue, or greatneas. 

« As no end likewise happens without a tiiean^, so we shftll 
ind sir^ that even you yourself framed a plan by which you 
became considerable; but at the same time we may sec that 
though the event is flattering* the means are as simple n 
wisdom could make them; that is depending upon nature^ 
virtue, thought, and habit. 

<v Another thing demonstrated Will be the propriety of every 
man's waiting for his time for appearing upon the Mtage <^ 
the world. Our sensations being very much fixed to the mo* 
tnent, We are apt to forget that more moments are to foHow 
the first, and consequently that man should arrange his con* 
duct so as to suit the whole of a life. Your attribution ap- 
' pears to have been applied to your (i/e, and the pitssir^ mo* 
fitents of it have been etiHveni'd with content ami enjoyiB«it> 
instead of being tormented with foolish impatience or regrets. 
Such a conduct is easy for those who make virtue and tltem* 
selves their standard, and who try to keep themselves in 
countenance by examples of other truly great men, of whom 
patience is so often the characteristic. 

« Your Quaker correspondent, sir, (for here again IwiB 
suppose the subject of my letter resembling Dr. FrankKa,) 
praised your frugality, diligence, and temperance, wiricb lie 
considered as a pattern for all youth: but it is singular tM 
he should have forgotten your modesty, and your disinterest- 
edness, without which you never could have waited for yoar 
advancement, or found your situation in the mean time csm- 
fortable; which is a strong lesson to shew the poverty of 
glory, and the importance of regulating our minds. 

« If tills correspondent had known the nature of your w* 
ptftation .as well as I do, h<< would have said; your former 
wi'itings and measures would secure i^etition to your Bio- 
graphy, and Art of Virtue; and your Biography and Art •of 

Tirtne, in retuniy ivouid secure attention to them. This is an 
Mlrantage attendant upon a various character^ and which 
brings all that belongs to it into greater play; Und it is tha 
more useful, an perhaps more persons are at a loss for tho 
veofu of improving tlieir minds and cliaracters^ than they 
ire for the time or the inclination to do it. 

« But there is one concluding reflection, sir, that will shew 
the use of your life as a mere piece of biography. This style 
of writing seems a little gone out of vogue, and yet it is 
ft very useful one; and your specimen of it may be particu- 
larly serviceable, as it will mal&e a subject of comparison 
with the lives of various public cut-throats and intriguers, 
and with absurd monastic self-tormenters, or vain literary 
triflers. If it encourages more writings of the same kind with 
your own, and induces more men to spend Jives fit to be writ* 
ten; it will be worth all Plutarch's Lives put together. 

<(But being tired of figuring to myself a character of 
which every feature suits only one man in the world, without 
giving him the praise of it; I shall end my letter, my dear 
Dr. Franklin^ with a pcrsonri application to your proper 

'< I am earnestly desirous then, my dear sir, thai yon 
should let the world into the traits of your genuine characterp 
is civil broils may otherwise tend to disguise or traduce it. 
Considering your great age, the caution of your character, 
and yonr peculiar style of thinkipg, it is not likely that any 
one besides youi'self can be sufficiently master of the facta 
or your life, or tlie intentions of your mind. 

^ Besides all this, the immense revolution of the present 
period, will necessarily turn our attention towards the author 
of it; and when yiKuous principles have been pretended in 
it, it will be highly Important to shew that such have really 
influenced; and, as yonr ovm character will be the principal 
ene to recrive a scrutiny, it is proper (even for its eflects 
npon your vast and rising country, as well as upon England 
and upon Europe), that it should stand i*espectable and eteiv^ 

S2 IffEMOXBS 01* 

nal. For the furthcpance of bumati happiness, I have dwftys 
maintained that it is necessary to prove that man is not cvea 
at present a vicious and detestable animal ; and still more to 
prove that good management may greatly amend him; and 
it is for much tlie same reason, that I am anxions to see the 
opinion established, that there are fair characters existing 
among the individuals of the race; for the moment that all 
men, without exception, shall be conceived abandoned, good 
people will cease eflforts deemed to be hopeless, and perhaps 
think of taking their share in the scramble of life, or at least 
of making it comfortable principally for themselves. 

« Take then, my dear sir, this work most speedily into 
hand: shew yourself good as yon are good; temperate as yoa 
are temperate; and above all things, prove youi-self as one 
who from your infancy have loved justice, liberty, and con- 
cord, in a way that has made it natural and consistent fcr 
you to have acted, as we have seen you act in the last seven- 
teen years of your life. Let Englishmen be made not only to 
respect, but even to love you. When they think well of indi- 
viduals, in your native country, they will go nearer to think- 
ing well of your country; and when your countrymen see 
themselves well thought of by Englishmen, they will go near- 
er to thinking well of England. Extend your views even 
further; do not stop at those w*ho speak the English tongue, 
but after having settled so many points in nature and politics 
think of battering the whole race of men* 

« As I have not read any part of the life in question, but 
know only the character that lived it, I write somewhat at 
hazard. I am sure however, that the life, and the treatise I 
allude to (on the Art of Firfue), will necessarily fiilfil the 
chief of my expectations ; and still more so if you take up the 
measure of suiting these performances lo the several views 
above stated. Should they even prove unsuccessful in all that 
a sanguine admirer of yours hopes from them, you will at 
least have framed pieces to interest the human mind; and 
whoever gives a feeling of pleasure that is innocent to man^ 



hu added so much to the fair side of a life otherwise too 
ttoch dfti&ened by anxIKy, and too marh injured by pain. 

^ In the hope therefore that you will listen t5 the prayer 
addressed to yoo in this letter, I beg to subscribe myself, my 
dearest sir, &c* &c 

«<Sisaed BENJ. YAUGHAN." 


Begun at Panjf near ParU, 17ti* 

IT is some time since I received the above letters, but 1 
have been too busy till now to think of complying with the re* 
qiK^t they contain. It might too be much better done if I were 
at home among my papers, which would aid my memory, 
and help to ascertain dates; but my return being ufirertaiUf 
and having just now a little leisure, I will endeavor to recol- 
lect and write what I can : if I live to get home, it may there 
be corrected and improved. 

Not having any copy here of what is already written, 
I know not whether an account is given of the means I 
osed to establish the Philadelphia public library; which from 
a small beginning is now become so considerable. Though 
I remember to have come down near the time of that trans- 
action, (1730.) I will therefore begin herewith an account of 
it, which may be struck out if found to have been already 

At the time I established myself in Pennsylvania, there 
was not a good bookseller's shop in any of the colonies to 
(be sottthward of Boston. In New York and Pliiladelphia, 
tlieprintdrs were indeed stationers, but they sold only paper, 
kc. almanacs, ballads, and a few common scliool-books. 
Those who loved reading were obliged to send for their 

• Only a short account of this subject, having been given at the close 
of tbe first part of the life, it was thought advisable not to suppress^tliis 
fiiller one. 

84 M£Moiiis air 

books from England: the members of the janto bad each a 
few. We bad left the alehouse, where we first met, and hired 
a room to h<{ld our club in. 1 proposed that we shoold aH of 
us bring our books to that room ; where they would not onlj 
be ready to consult in our conferences, but become a commos 
benefit, each of us being at liberty to borrow such as be 
wished to read at home. This was accordingly done, and for 
some time contented us: finding the advantage of this little 
collection, I proposed to render the benefit from tite books 
more common, by commencing a public subscription iibraiy. 
I drew a sketch of- the plan and rules that would be necessa* 
ry, and got a skilful conreyancer, Mr. Charles Brogden, to 
put the whole in form of articles of agreement to be subscri- 
bed^ by which each subscriber engaged to pay a certain sum 
down for the first purchase of tjie books, and an annual con* 
tribution for increasing them. So few were the readers al 
that time in Philadelphia, and the majority of us so poor, 
that I was not able with great industry to find more than fifty 
persons, (mostly yoqng tradesmen,) willing to pay down for 
this purpose forty shillings each, and ten shillings per annum ; 
with this little fund we began. The books were imported; the 
library was open one day in the week for lending tfaem to 
subscribers, on their promissory notes to pay double the 
value if not duly returned. The institution soon manifested 
its utility, was imitated by other towns, and in other pro- 
vinces. The libraries were augmented by donations; reading 
became feshionable; and our people having n6 public amuse- 
ments to divert their attention from study, became better ac- 
quainted with books; and in a f(^w years were observed by 
strangers to be better instructed, and more-intelligrat than 
people of the same rank generally are in other countries. 

When we were about to sign the abovementioned articles, 
which were to be binding on us, our heirs, &c. for fiftjr years; 
Mr. Br«)gden, the scrivener, said to us, <• Tou are young 
men, but it is scarce probable that any of you will live to see 
the expiration of the term fixed in the instrument'' A Bttm- 
berof us however are yet living: but the instrument 

utter a few years rendered nulU by a charter that incorporated 
and gave perpetuity to the company. 

The objections and reluctances I met witli in soliciting the 
subscriptions, made me soon feel the impropriety of present- 
ing oneself as the proposer of any useful project, that might 
be supposed to raise one's rrputation in the smallest degree 
abave that of one's neighbors, when one has need of their 
assistance to accomplish that project. I therefore put myself 
as much as I could out of sight, and stated it as a scheme of 
a fmmbtr qffriends, who had requested me to go about and 
propose it to such as they thought lovers of reading. In this 
way my affair went on more smoothly, and I ever after prac- 
tised il on sucii occasions; and Irom my frequent succ«»es can 
heartily recommend it. The present little sacrifice of your 
vanity will afterwards be amply repaid. If it remains a while 
uncertain to whom the merit belongs, some one more vain 
than yourself will be encouraged to claim it, and then even 
envy will be dis|)«>sed to do you justice, by plucking those 
assumed feathers, and restoring them to their right owner. 

This library afforded me the means of improvement by 
constant study, for which I set apart an hour or two each 
day ; and thus repaired in some degree the loss of the learn- 
ed education my father once intended for nre. Reading was 
the 'only amusement I allowed myself. I spent no time in ta- 
verns, games, or frolics of any kind; and my industry in my 
business continued as indefatigable a,^ it was necessary. I 
was indebted for my printing house, I had a young family 
coming on to be educated, and I had two competitors to con- 
tend with for business, who were established in the place be- 
tqre me. My circumstances however grew daily easier. *My 
original hi-.bits of frugality continuing, and my father hav- 
ing among his instructions to me when a boy, frequently re- 
peated a Proverb of Solomon, *^seegt thou a man diligent in 
bis eaUing, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before 
mean men/^ I tlience considered industry as a means of ob- 
taining wealth and distinction, which encouraged me; tliough 
I did not tliink tbat I should ever literally stand before kings. 

8() MEMOIRS 0¥ 

which however has ^nce happened; for I .have 0tood before 
five» and even had the honor of sitting down with one» (the 
king of Denmark,) to dinner. 
We have an English proverb that'sajSi^ 

••He that would thrive 

it was lucky for me that 1 had one as much disposed to io« 
dustry and frugality as myself. Slie assisted me cheerfully in 
my business, folding and stitching pamphlets, tending shopy 
purchasing old linen rags for the paper makers, &c. We kept . 
no idle servants, our table was plain and simple, our fumituro 
of the cheapest For instance, my breakfast was for a long 
time bread and milk, (no tea) and I ate it out of a twopenny 
earthen porringer, with a pewter spoon : but mark how lux- 
ury will enter families, and make a progress in spite of prin- 
ciple; being called one morning to breakfast, I found it in a 
china bowl, with a spoon of silver. They had been bought 
for me without my knowledge by my wife, and had cost her 
the enormous sum of three and twenty shillings; for which 
she had no other excuse or apology to make, but that she 
thought her husband deserved a silver spoon and china bowl 
as well as any of his neighbors. This was the first appear- 
ance of plate and china in our house, which afterwards, in 
a course of years, as our wealth increased, augmented gra- 
dually to several hundred pounds in value« 

I had been religiously educated as a Presbyterian; but 
though some of the dogmas of that persuasion, such, as the 
eternal decrees of 6odf electioih reprobation, ^. appeared to 
me unintelligible, and I early absented myself from the pub- 
lic assemblies of the sect, (Sunday being my studying day.) 
I never was without some religious principles : I never doubt- 
ed, for instance, the existence of a Deity, that he made the 
world, and governed it by his providence;. that ihe roost ac- 
ceptable service of God was the d(>in.s; good to man ; that our 
souls are immortal; and that all crimes will bepunii^ed, and 
virtue rewarded^ either here or hereafter; these I esteemed 
the essentials of every religion^ and being to be found in all tiie 


Rligions we had in our country, I respected them all, though 
with diff rent degrees of respect, as I found them more or 
leas mixed with other articles, which without any tendency 
to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, served principally 
to divide us, and make us unfriendly to one another. 
This respect to all, with an opinion that the worst had 
some effects, induced me to avoid all discourse that might 
tend to lessen the good opinion another might have of bis 
own religion; and as our province increased in people, and 
new places of worship were continually wanted, and gene- 
rally erected by voluntary contribution, my mite for such 
purpose^ whatever migiit be the sect, was never refused. 

Though 1 seldom attended any public worship, I had still 
an opinion of its propriety, and of its utility when rightly 
conducted, and I regularly paid my annual subscription for 
the support of the only Presbyterian minister or meeting we 
bad in Philadelphia. He used to visit me sometimes as a 
friend, and admonish me to attend his administrations; and 
I was now and then prevailed on to do so; once for five Sun- 
days successively. Had he been in my opinion a good preach* 
er, perhaps I might have continued, notwithstanding the 
occasion I had for the Sunday's leisure ir; my coursQ, of 
study: but his discourses were chiefly either polemic argu* 
meats, or explications of the peculiar doctrines of our sect^ 
and were all to me very dry, uninteresting, and unedifying, 
since not a single moral principle was inculcated or en« 
forced; their aim seeming to be rather to make^is Preshjftc-' 
fuais than good eiiicoens. At length he took for his text^that 
▼erse of the fourth chapter to the PhiHippians, « Finally 
intkren, whatsoever things are truef honesUjustf pure, lovely f 
or ef good report, if there be any virtue, or any jraise, think 
M these things.*^ And I imagined in a sermon on such a text, 
we could not miss of having some morality. But he confined 
^ypiaelf to five points only, as meant by the apostle; viz. 
japing holy the Sabbath day. SL Being diligent in reading 
the holy scriptures. S. Attending duly the public worship. 
4. Partaking of the sacrament. 5. Paying a due respect to 

88/ MEMOIRS 07 

God's ministers. These might be all good things, bat as thej 
were not the kind of good things that I expected from that 
testy I despaired of ever meeting with tliem from any other, 
was disgusted, and attended his preaching no more. 1 bad 
some years before composed a little liturgy, or form of pray* 
er, for my own private use, (viz. in 1728,) entitled Articles 
of Belief aiid MU of Beligicn. I returned to the use of this, 
and went no more to the public assemblies. My conduct 
might be blameable, but I leave it iivithout attempting further 
to excuse it; my present purpose being to relate facts and not 
to make apologies for them. 

It was about this time 1 conceived the bold and arduous 
project of arriving at moral perfection; I wished to live witli-> 
out committing any fault at any time, and to conquer all that 
either natural inclination, custom, or company, might lead 
me into. As I knew, or thought 1 knew, what was right and 
wrong, 1 did not see why 1 might not always do the one and 
avoid the other. But I soon found I had undertaken a task of 
more difficulty than 1 had imagined : while diy attention was 
taken up, and rare employed in guarding against one fault, I 
was often surprised by another: habit took the advantage of 
inattention $ inclination was sometimes too strong for reason. 
I concluded at length that the mere speculative convirtion, 
that it was our interest to be completely virtuous, was not 
sufficient to prevent our slipping; and that the contrary ha- 
bits must be bt*oken, and good ones acquired and est«blishedf 
before we can have any dependance on a steady uniform rec- 
titude of conduct. For this purpose I therefore tried the fol- 
lowing method. 

In the various enumerations of the moral virtues I bad 
met with in my reading, I found the catalogue more or less 
numerous, as different writers included more or fewer ideas 
under the same name. Temperance for example, was by some 
confined to eating and drinking; wliile by others it was «• - 
tended to mean the moderating every other pleasure, appe- 
tit/df inclination, or passion, bodily or mental, even to our 
avarice and ambition. I proposed to myself^ for the sake of 


dearnessy to use rather more names, with fewer ideas annex- 
ed to each, than a few names with* more ideas; and I included 
under thirteen names of virtues, M that at that time occurred 
to me as necessary or desirable; and annexed to each a sliort 
precept^ which fully expressed the extent I gave to its 
These names of viriueSf with their precepts, were; 

I. TEMPERANCE ^Eat not to dulness: drink not to 


i2« SILENCE.— Speak not but what may benefit others 
or jmrself : avoid trifling conversation. 

3* ORDER. — ^Let all your things have their places: let 
each part of your bminess have its time. 

4. RESOLUTION.— Resolve to perfbrm what you ought: 
perform without fail what you resolvet 

5. FRUGALITY. — Make no expense but to do good to 
others or yourself: i. e. waste nothing. 

6. INDUSTRY. — ^Lose no time: be always employed in 
something oseful : cut off all unnecessary actions. 

r. SINCERITT.— Use no hurtful deceit: think innocently 
and justly: and, if you speak, speak accordingly. 

8. JUSTICE. — ^Wrong none by doing injuries, or omit* 
ting the benefits that are your duty. 

9. MODERATION.— Avoid extremes: forbear resenting 
injuries so much as you think they deserve. 

10. CLEANLINESS.— Tolerate no uncleanliness in bo« 
dy, clothes, or habitation. 

II. TRANQUILLITY — Be not disturbed at trifles, nop 
at accidents common or unavoidable. , 

12. CHASTITY.— Rarely use venery, but for health or 
onpring; never to dulness or weakness, or t^ie ii\jury of your 
own or another^ peace or reputation. 

Id. HUMILITY.— Imitate Jfsus and iS;ocra^«9. 

My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these vir-* 
tacs, I judged it would be well not to distract my attention 
by attempting the whole at once, but to fix it on one of them 
at a time; and when I should be master of that, then to pro* 

V01.L N 

90 MEMOIRS or ' 

oeed to another; and so on till I should have gone through 
the thirteen: and as the previous acquisition of some, might 
facilitate the acquisition of certain others, I arranged them 
urith that view as tliey stand above. Temperance fii'st, as it 
tends to procure that coolness and clearness of bead, which 
is 80 necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept op, 
and a guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of 
ancient habits and the force of perpetual temptations. This 
being acquired and established. Silence would be more easy; 
and my desire being to gain knowledge at the same time that 
I improved in virtue; and considering that in convfersatioD it 
was obtained rather by the use of the ear than of the tongue, 
and therefore wishing to break a habit I wsis getting into of 
frattUng^^nning, b,M jesting , (which only made me accepta- 
ble to trifling company) I gave Silence the second place. This 
and the next. Order, I expected would allow me more time for 
attending to my project and my studies. Resolution once be- 
come habitual, would keep me firm in my endeavors to obtain 
all the subsequent virtues. Frugality and Industry relieving me 
from my remaining debt, and producing affluence and indepen- 
dence, would make more easy the practice of Sincerity and 
Justice, &c. &c. Conceiving then, that agreeably to the advice 
of Pythagoras in his Golden Yerses, daily examination would 
be i^essary; I contrived the following method for conduct- 
ing ihat examination. 

I made a little book, in which I allotted a page for each of 
the virtues. I ruled each page with red ink, so as to have 
seven columns, one for each day of the week, marking each 
column with a letter for the day. I crossed these columns 
with thirteen red lines, marking the beginning of each line 
with the firsMettcr of one of the virtues; on which line, and 
in its pniper column, I might mark by a little black spo^ 
every fault I fotmd upon examination to have been committed 
respecting that virtue, upon that dayJ^ 

» This little book ia dated Sunday, Ut Juh/, 1733, and is in the posses- 
sion of Mr. W. T. Fnmilin : a copy was also in ^e possession of the late 
B. F. Bacbe. 


Form oj ihepages. 
Eat nat to dulness: drink not to elevation* 



I determined to give a week's strict attention to each of the 
virtues successively. Thus in the first week, my great guard 
was to avoid every the least offence against Temperance; 
leaving the other virtues to their ordinary chance, only mark* 
ing every evening the faults of the day. Thus, if in the lirst 
week I could keep my first line marked T. clear of -spots, I 
supposed the habit of that virtue so much strengthened, and 
its opposite weakened, that I might venture extending my at- 
tention to include th^ next; and for the following week keep 
both lines clear of spots. Proceeding thus to the last, I could 
get through a course complete in thirteen weeks^ and four 


courses in a year. And like him ivbo having a garden t3 
weed, does not attempt to eradicate all the bad herbs at once, 
(which would exceed his reach and his strength,) bat works 
on one of the beds at a time, and having accomplished the 
first, proceeds to a second; so I should have (I hoped) the 
encouraging pleasure, of seeing on my pages the progress 
made in virtue, by clearing successively my lines of their 
spots; till in the end, by a number of courses, I should be 
happy in viewing a clean book, after a thirteen weeks' daily 

This my little book had for its motto, these lines from Ad* 
djson's Cato: 

*< Here witl I hold: if there '« a power above us, 
(jfficf that tfiere is, all nature cries aloud 
Through all her works:) he must delight in virtue^ 
And that which he delights in must he happy J*^ 

Another from Cicero^ 

<<Ointo phUosophia dux! O virtutum indagatrix expul' 
trixque vitiorumi Unus Dies benSf et ex prcsceptis tuis aetua^ 
peecanii immortalitoH est anteponendusj'^ 

Another from the Proverbs of Solomon, speaking of wis* 
dom or virtue: 

^« Length of days is in her right handj and in her left hand 
riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantnessj and all 
her paths are peace.** 

And conceiving God to be the fountain of wisdom, I thought 
it right and necessary to solicit his assistance for obtaining 
it ; to this end I formed the following little prayer, which was 
prefixed to my tables of examination, for daily use. 

c< O powerful goodness! bountiful father!, merciful guidel 
Inerease-in me tiuit wisdom which discovers my truest itdereet: 
Strengthen my resolution to perform what that wisdom dictates: 
Accept my kind offices to thy o^ier chUdreUf as Hie only return 
in my power for thy continual favors to me.** 

I used also sometimes a little prayer^ which I took from 
Thomson's Poems, viz. 



^^Father of light md life, thou God supreme/ 
O teach me what is good j teach me thyself J 
Save me from folly J vanity ^ and vice^ 
From every Low pursuit; and fill my soul 
With knowlege^ conscious peace^ and virtue pure; 
Sacred^ sul^tantial, never-fading blissP^ 
The precept of Ordert requiring that every part qfmybt^ 
sines$ should have its allotted timCf one page in my little book 
contained the followin,}^ scheme of employment for the twen- 
ty-four hours of a natural day. 



Morning. ^^ Rise, wash, and address PoTverful Goodnet* f 

' The Ques. What g f contrive day's business, and take the resolution 
rood shall I do this* i of the day; prosecute the present study, and 
day? 7 J breakfast. 


10 J^-^- 


• Ready or look over my accounts and dine* 



The Ques. What 
good have I dene 

Put things in their places. Supper, Music or 
diversion^ or conversation. Examination of the 


>> Sleep. 

I entered upon the execution of this plan for self-e3camina« 
tion^ and continued it with occasional intermissions for some 
time. I was swprised lo find myself so much fuller of faults 


than I W imagined; but I had the satisfaction of seeiog 
them diminish. To avoid the trouble of renewing now ami 
then my little bookf which by scraping out the marlus on tke 
paper, of old faults to make room for new ones in a new 
course, became full of holes, I transformed my tables tod 
precepts to the iTory leavvs of a memorandum book,« oo 
which the lines were drawn with red ink, that made a don* 
ble stain; and on those lines I marked my faults witbabkck 
lead pencil; which marks I could easily wipe out with a wet 
sponge. After a while I went through one course only Jn a 
a year; and afterwards only one in several years; till at length 
I omitted them entirely, being employed in voyages and bu- 
siness abroad, with a multiplicity of affairs, that inteifered; 
but I always carried my little book witli me. My scheme of 
Order gave me the most trouble; and I found that though it 
might be practicable where aman's business was such as to leare 
him the disposition of his time, that of a journeyman printer 
for instance, it was not possible to be exactly observed by a 
master, who must mix with the world, and often receive peo« 
pic of business at their own hours* Onler too, with regard 
to places for things, papers, &c. I found extremely difficult 
to acquire. I had not been early accustomed to mtthodf and 
having an exceeding good memory, I was not so sensible of 
the inconvenience attending want of method. This ailicle 
therefore cost me n\och painful attention, and my faults in it 
vexed me so much, and I made so little progress in amend- 
ment, and h^d such frequent relapses, that I was almost 
ready to give up the attempt, and content myself with afaol^ 
character in that respect Like the man who in buying an axe 
of a smith my neighbor, desired to have the whole of its 
surface as bright as the edge : the smith consented to grind it 
bright for him if he would turn the wheel: he turned while 
the smith pressed the broad face of tffe axe hard and heavily 
on the stone, which made the turning of it very fatiguing. 

« This also is m the posseanoa of the editor, W. T. Franklin. 


The man came every now and then from the wheel to see 
how the work went on ; and at length would take his axe as 
it was» without further grinding. No, said the smith, turn on^ 
torn on, we shall have Jt bright by and by; as yet 'tis only 
speckle. Tes, said the man, but <« / think I like a speckled 
axe htst.^ And I believe this may have been the case with 
many, who having for want of some such means as I em-* 
ployed, found the difficulty of obtaining good and breaking 
bad habits in other points of vice and virtue, have given up 
the struggle, aTid concluded tliat « a spedded axe was hesV^ 
For something, that pretended to be reason, was every now 
and then suggesting to me, that such extreme nicety as I ex- 
acted of myself might be a kind of foppery in morals, which 
if it w^re known, would make me ridiculous; that a perfect 
character might be attended with the inconvenience of being 
envied and hated; and that a benevolent man should allow a 
few faults in himself, to keep his friends in countenance. In 
tnitl) I found myself incorrigible with respect to Order; and 
now I am grown old, and my memory bad, I feel very sensi- 
bly the want of it. But on the whole, though I never arrived 
at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but 
fell far short of it, yet I was by the endeavor, a better and a 
happier man than I otherwise should have been, if I had not 
attempted it; as those who aim at perfect writin^by imitating 
the engraved copies, though they never reach the wished-for 
excellence of tliose copies, their hand is mended hy the en- 
deavor, and is tolerable while it continues fair and legible* 

It may be well my posterity should be informed, that to 
this little artifice, with the blessing of Grod, their ancestor 
owed the constant felicity of his life down to his 79th year, 
in which this is written. What reverses may attend the re- 
mainder is in the hand of Providence: but if they arrive, 
flie reflection on past happiness enjoyed, ought to help his 
bearing them with more resignation* To Ttmpetanct he as- 
cribes his long continued healtli, and what is still left to him 
of a good constitution. To Industry and Frugaliiy^ the early 
easiness of his circumstances, and acquisition of his fortune^ 


with all that knowlege that enabled him to be an useful citi- 
zen and obtained for him some degree of reputation among 
the learned. To 8inurity and Justice, the confidence of his 
countrji and the honorable employs it conferred upon him: 
and ,to the joint influence of ihe whole mass of the virtuesy 
even in the imperfect state he was able to acquire them, all 
that evenness of temper and that cheerfulness in conversation 
which makes his company still sought for, and agreeable 
even to his young acquaintance: I hope therefore that some 
of my descendants may follow the example and reap the 

It will be remarked that, though my scheme was not wholly 
without religion, there was in it no mark of any of the dis- 
tinguishing tenets of any particular sect; I had purposely 
avoided them; for being fully persuaded of the utility and 
excellency of my method, and that it might he serviceable to 
people in all religions, and intending some time or other to 
publish it, I would not have any thing in it, that should pre- 
judice any one, of any sect, against it. 1 proposed writing a 
little comment on each virtue, in which 1. would have shewn 
the advantages of possessing it, and the mischiefs attending 
its opposite vice; I should have called ray book Tlit JHt^ 
Virtue, because it would have shewn the means and manner 
of obtaining virtue, which would have distinguished it from 
the mere exhortation, to be good, that does not instruct and 
indicate the means; but is like the apostle's man of verbal 
charity, who without shewing to the naked and hungry, how 
or where they might get clothes or victuals* only exhorted 
them to be fed and clothed. James ii. 15, 16. 

But it so happened that my intention of writing and pub- 
lishing this comment was never fulfilled. I had indeed from 
time to time put down short hints of the sentiments, reason- 
ings, fcc. to be made use of in it; some of wliich I have still hj 
me: but the necessary c<lose attention to private business^ in 
the earlier part of life ; and public business since, have occa- 
sioned my postponing it For it being connected in my mind 
With a great arid extensive project, that required thewholo 

van to ezeoBtof and which an anfereseen succession of em- 
{ilojs prevented my attending to, it has hitherto remained un- 

* In this was my design to explain and enforce this 
doctrinPt lAol vidaM actions are not kurtful, because they are 
JMidden, ha Jorbidden because they are hurtful; the na- 
ture of man alone considered: that it was therefore erery 
one's interest to be vtrtuousj who wished to be happy even in 
tliis world; and I. should from this circumstance, (there be- 
ing always in the world a number of rich raerchants» nobility^ 
states and princes who have need of. honest instruments for 
tlie management of their affairs, and such being so rare) 
have endeavored to convince young persons, that no quali- 
ties are so likely to make a poor man's fortune, as those of 
probity and integrity. 

My list of virtues contained at first but twelve: but a qua- 
Ker friend having kindly informed mb that I was generally 
thought proud; that my pride shewed itself frequently in 
conversation; that I was not content witli being in the right 
when discussing any point, but was overbearing, and rather 
insolent; (of which he convinced me by mentioning several 
Instances) I determined to endeavor to core ^myself if I 
could of this vice or folly among the rest; and I added Rti^ 
wUiiy to my list, giving an extensive meaning to the word* 
I cannot boast of much success in acquiring the reality of this 
virtue, but I had a good deal with regard to the appearance 
of it* I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to 
the sentiments of others, and all positive assertion of mine own* 
I even forbid myself, agreeably to the old laws of our Junto, 
the use of every word or expression in the language that im- 
ported a fixed opinion; such as certainly f undoubtedlyf ^c. and I 
adopted instead of thentf I conceive^ I apprehendf or 1 imagine^ 
a thing to be so, or so ; or it sa appears to me at present. When 
another asserted some thing that I thought an error, I denied 
myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of 
shewing immediately some absurdity in his proposition; and 
In answering I began by observing, that in certain cases or 

Vox. L O 


circoiD8toiice9» hi& opinion wouM be right, but in the pmeat 
ease there appearedp or uemed to me, some dilerencei loc I 
soon found the advantage of this change in my manners^ the 
conversations 1 engaged in went on more pleasandy. Tke 
modest way in which I proposed my opinions, procured tbw 
a readier reception and less contradiction; I bad leas moiti- 
fication when I was found to be in the wrong, and I mon 
easily prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and 
join with me when I happened to be in the right. And this 
mode, which I at firat put on with some violence to natunl 
inclination, became at length easy, and so habitual to me, that 
perhaps for the fifty years past no one has ever beard a dog* 
maticai expression escape me. And to this habit (after mj 
character of integrity) I think it principally owiiig, that I 
had early so much weight with my fellow-citizens, when I 
proposed new institutions, or alterations in the old; and so 
much influence in public councils, when I became a member: 
for I was but a bad speaker, never eloquent, subject to orach 
hesitation in my clioice of wonls, hardly correct in language, 
and yet I generally carried my point. 

In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural passions m 
hard to subdue as Pride; disguise it, struggle with it, stifle it, 
mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every 
now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it pe^ 
baps often in this history. For even if I could conceive that 
I had completely overcome it, I should probably be prwd of 
my humUity. 

[Here concludes what was written at Pasay^ near Parit.] 


lam wnv about to write at home (Phidaddphia), Juguil 
1788, but cannot have the help expected from my papers, nuwy 
rf them being lost in tht war. I have however fmnd ihtfilr 

Having mentioned a great and eodensifoi prt^eet which I 
had conceived, it seems proper, that some account should bo 


kere gtTen of that project and itd object Its first rise in id j 
nuad appears in tbe abovementioned little paper, accidentally 
preserved, Tiz. 
Obsbbvatiovs on my readings history, in library, May 9, 


«That tbe great affairs of tbe world, the wars, rerolotions, 
&c. are carried on and eflfeoted by parties. 

<*Tbat the view of these parties is their present general 
interest; or what they take to be surh. 

^That the different views of these different parties occa- 
tjm all confbsion. 

^'Tliat while a party is carrying on a general design, each 
muk has his particular private interest in view. 

«That as soon as a party has gained its general pointf 
each meflaber becomes intent upon his particular interest, 
wUch Uiwarting others, brealcs that party into divisions and 
occasions more confusion. 

«<That few in public affairs act from a mere view of the 
good of Itieir country, whatever they may pretend ; and though 
their actings bring real good to their country, yet men pri- 
marBy considered that their own and their country's interest 
were ooited, and so did not act from a principle of benevo- 

M That fewer still, in public affairs, act with a view to the 
good of mankind. 

« There 'Seems to me at present to be great occasion for 
fairing an IMted Party far Virtue, by forming the virtuous 
and good men of all nations into a regular bpdy, to be gor- 
orned by suitable good and wise rules, which good and wise 
men may probably be more unanimous in their obedience to, 
than dbmmon people are to common laws. 

^ I at present think, that whoever attempts this aright, and 
is well qualified, cannot fail of pleasing God, and of meeting 
with success B. F.'' 

Revolving this project in my mind, as to be undertaken 
hereafter, when my circumstances should afford me the ne- 
eessary leisure, I put down from time to time on pieces of 


paper such ttioup;hts as occarred to me respecting it. Ifostof 
these are lost, but I find one purporting to be the substance' 
of an intended creed, containing as I thouglit tiie essentids 
of every known religion, and being free of every thing that 
might shock the professors of an^ religion. It is expressed 
in these wonis; viz. 

«* That there is one Gfod, who made all things. 

** That he governs the world by his providence. 

<< That he ought to be worshipped by adoration, prayer, 
and thanksgiving. ^^ 

<< But that the most acceptable service to God^ is doing 
good to man. 

<< That the soul is immortal. 

<< And that God will certainly reward virtue and panidi 
Tice» either here or hereafter.'* 

My ideas at that time were, that the sect should be begun 
and spread at first, among young and single men only; that 
each person to be initiated should not only declare his assent 
to such ci^eed, but should have exercised himself with the 
thirteen weeks' examination and practice of tlie virtues* as in 
the bcforeroentioned model; that the existence of such a so- 
ciety should be kept a secret, till it was become considerable, 
to prevent solicitations for the admission of improper per- 
sons; but that the members should, each of them, search 
among his acquaintance for ingenious, well-disposed youths, 
to whom, with prudent caution, the scheme should be gra- 
dually communicated. That tlie members should engage to 
afford their advice, assistance, and support to each other in 
promoting one another's interest, business, and advancement 
in life: that for distinction, wc should be called The SopiBTT 
OF THE Fhbb Aioi East. Free, as being by the genenilprac* 
tice and habits of the virtues, free from the dominion of vice; 
and particularly by the practice of industry and frugality, 
free from debt, which exposes a man to constraint, and a 
species of slavery to his creditors. 

This is as much as I can now recollect of the project, ex- 
cept that I communicated it in part to two young men, who 


adopted it vitb entbustasm: but my then narrow circnmstan- 
ces^ and the necessity I was under of sticking close to my 
bnstuessy occasioned my postponing the farther prosecution 
rf it at that time, and tny multifarious occupationsy publie 
and private, induced me to continue postponing, so tliat it 
has been omitted, till 1 have no longer strength or activity 
feft sufl^ent for such an enteqirise. Though 1 am still of 
opinion it was a practicable scheme, and might have been 
very useful, by forming a great number of good citizens: 
and I was not discouraged by the seeming magnitude of the 
undertaking, as I have always thought that one man of tole- 
rable abilities, may work great changes, and accomplish 
great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan; 
and cutdng off all amusements or other employments that 
would divert bis attention, makes the execution of that same 
plan, his sole study and business. 

In 1732, I first publislicd my Almanack under the name of 
ikhard Saunders; it was continued by me about twenty-five 
years, and commonly called Poor Bkhard^s Mmanack. I en- 
deavored to make it both entertaining and useful, and it ac- 
cordingly came to be in such demand that I reaped consider* 
able profit from it| vending annually near ten thousand. And 
(Asenring that it wais generally read, (scarce any neighbor- 
hood in the province being without it,) I considered it as a 
proper vehicle for conveying instror^ion among the common 
people, who bought scarcely any other books. I therefore 
filled ail the little spaces that occurred between the remarka- 
ble days in the Calendar, with proverbial sentences, chiefly 
such as inculcated industry and frugality, as the means of 
procuring wealth, and thereby securing virtue; it being more 
diflicalt for a man in want to act always honestly, as (to use- 
here one of those proverbs) << it is hard for an empty sack to 
stand upright.*^ These proverbs which contained the wisdom 
of many ages and nations, I assembled and formed into a 
connected ttiscourse prefixed to the Almanack of 1757, as the 
harangoe of a wise old man to the people attending an auc- 
tion: tlie bringing all these scattei*ed counsels thus into a fo- 

10^ MBM0IR9 OF 

G1189 enabled them to make greater impressioQ. The piece be- 
i^g universally approved, was copied in all the newspapers 
of the American Continent, reprinted in Britain on a lai^ 
sheet of paper to be stuck up in hoiisi's; two translations 
were made of it in France, and great numbers bought by the 
clergy and gentry to distribute gratis among their poor pa« 
rishloners and tenants. In Pennsylvania, as it discouraged 
useless expense in foreign superfluities, some thought it had 
its share of influence in producing that growing plenty of 
money which was obbervabie for several years after its pub- 

I considered my newspaper also as another means of com* 
municating instruction, and in that view frequently reprinted 
in it extratts from the Spectator, and other moral writers; 
and sometimes published little pieces of mine own which had 
been first composed for I'eading in our Junto. Of these are a 
Socratic dialogue, tending to prove, that whatever might be 
his parts and abilities, a vicious man could not properly be 
called a man of sense; and a discourse on self-denial, show- 
ing that virtue was not secure till its practice became a AoM- 
liide, and was free from the opposition of contrary inclina- 
tions: these may be found in the papers about the beginning 
of I7d5. In the conduct of my newspaper, I carefully ex- 
cluded all libelling and personal abuse, wliicli is of late years 
become so disgraceful to our country. Whenever I was soli- 
cited to insert any thing of that kind, and the writers pleaded 
(as tliey generally did) the liberty of the press; and that a 
newspaper was like a stage-coach, in which any one wlm 
would pay had a right to a place; my answer was, that I 
would print the piece separately if desired, and the author 
might have as many copies as he pleased to distribute him- 
selff but that I would not take upon me to spread his detrac- 
tion; and that having contracted with my subscribers to fuN 
nish them with what might be either useful or entertaining, 
I could not fill their papers with private allercatioh in which 

' See Vol. IV. p. 336, of this edition. 


tbey bad no coiiceni» without doing them manifest injustice. 
Now, many of oiur printers malLO no scruple of gratifying the 
malice of individuaH by false accusations of the fairest cha- 
racters among ourselves, augmenting animomty evin to the 
producing of duels ^ and are moreover so indiscreet as to print 
acorrilous reflections on the government of neighboring states^ 
and even un the conduct of our best national allies, which may . 
be attended with the most pernictoas consequences. These 
things I mention as a caution to young printers, and that they 
be encouraged not to pollute the presses, and disgrace tlieir 
profeasionby such infamous practices, but refuse steadily, as 
they DEiay see by my example, that such a course of conduct 
will not on tlie whole be injurious to their intM*csts* 

In 17S3, I sent one of my journeymen to Charleston, 
South Carolina, where a printer was wanting. I fnniished 
him with a press and letters, on an agreement of partnei*ship, 
by which I was to receive one-third of the profits of the bu- 
sinessy paying one-third of the expense. He was a man of 
learning, but ignorant in matters of account; and though he 
sometimes made me remittances, I could get no account from 
him, nor any satisfactory state of our {lartnership while he liv- 
eU. On his decease the business was continued by his widow^ 
who being born and bred in Holland, where, (as I liave been 
informed,) the knowlegc of accounts makes a part of femate 
education ; she not only sent me as clear a statement as she 
could find of the transactions past, but continued to account 
vith tlie greatest regularity and exactness every quarter af- 
terwards; and managed the business with such success, that 
she not only reputably brought up a family of children, but 
at the expiration of the term, was able to purchase of me the 
printing-house, and establish her son in it. I mention this af- 
fair chiefly for the sake of recommending that branch of edu« 
cation for our young women, as likely to be of more use to 
them and their children in case of widowhood, than either 
music or dancing; by preserving tliem from losses by impo- 
sition of crafty men, and enabling them to continue perhaps, 
% profitable meixantile house, with established correspon- 


dence» till a son is grown up fit to undertake and go on with 
it j to the lasting advantage and enriching of the Taoiily. 

About the year 17349 there arrived among us a young 
Pi*esbyterian preacher^ named Heraphill, who delivered with 
a good voice, and apparently extempore, most excellent dis- 
courses; which drew together considerable numbers of dir- 
ferent persuasions, who joined in admiring them. Among the 
rest, I became one of his constant hearers, his sermons pleas- 
ing me, as they had little of the dogmatical kind, but inculca- 
ted strongly the practice of virtue, or what in the religious 
style are called good works. Those however of our congre- 
gation who considered themselves as orthodox Presbyterians, 
disapproved his doctrine, and were joined by most of tlie old 
ministers, who arraigned him uf heterodoxy before the synod, 
in order to have him silenced. I became his zealous partisan, 
and contributed ail I could to raise a party in his favor, and 
combated for him awhile with some hopes of success. Tbei« 
was much scribbliug j7ro and con upon the occasion; and find- 
ing that though an elegant preacher, he was but a poor wri- 
ter, I wrote for him two or three pamphlets, and a piece in 
the Gazette of April, 1735. Those pamphlets, as is generally 
the case with controversial writings, though eageriy read at 
the time, were soon put out of vogue, and I question whether 
a* single copy of tliem now exists. 

During the contest an unlucky occurrence hurt his cause 
exceedingly. One of our adversaries having heard himj)reach 
a sermon that was much admired, thought he had somewhere 
read the sermon before, or at least a part of it. On searching 
he found that part quoted at length in one of the British Re- 
views* from a Discourse of Dr. Fostei-'s. This detection gave 
many of our party disgust, who accordingly abandoned Ills 
cause, and occasioned our more speedy discomfiture in the 
synod. I stuck by him however; I rather approved of his 
giving us good sermons composed by others, than bad ones of 
his own manufacture; though the latter was the practice of 
our common teachers. He afterwards acknowleged to me that 
none of those he preached were his ojm; addingj that his 


ttemory was such as enabled him to retain and repeat any 
sermon after once reading only. On our defeat he left us in 
search elsewhere of better fortune^ and I quitted the congre- 
gation, never attending it after; though I continued many 
years my subscription for the support of its ministers. 

I had begun in 17 SS to study languages; I soon made my- 
self so mucH a master of the French, as to be able to rpad the 
books in that language with ease: I then undertook the Ita- 
lian : an acquaintance who was also learning lU used often to 
tempt me to play chess with him : finding this took up too 
much of the time I had to spare for study, I at length refused 
to play any more, unless on tliis condition, that (he victor in 
cTcry game should have a right to impose a task, either of 
parts of the gmmmar to be got by heart, or in translations, 
&c« which tasks the vanquished was to perform upon honor 
before our next meeting: as we played pretty equally, we 
thus beat one another into that language. I afterwards, 
with a little pains-taking, acquired as much of the Spanish as 
to read their books also. I have already mentioned that I had 
only one year's instruction in a Latin school, and that when 
\ery young, after which I neglectcxi that language entirely* 
But when I had attained an acquaintance with the French^ 
Italian, and Spanish, I was surprised to find on looking over 
a Latin Testament, that I understood more of that language 
than I had imagined; which encouraged me to apply myself 
i^n to the study of it, and I met with the more success, as 
those preceding languages had greatly smoothed my way. 
From these circumstances, I have thought there was some in- 
consistency in our common mode of teaching languages. We 
are told that it is proper to begin first with the Latin, and 
having acquii'ed that, it will be more easy to attain those mo- 
dern languages which are derived from it: and yet we do not 
begin with the Greek, in order more easily to acquire the La- 
tin. It is true that if we can clamber and get to the top of a 
staircase without using the steps, we shall more easily gain 
^hem In descending; but certainly if we begin with th($ low- 

. 106 MBMOmS OF 

est, we shall witli more ease ascend to the top; and I would 
therefore offer it to the consideration of those who superintend 
the education of our youth,, whether, — sinco many of Uiose 
who begin with the Latin, quit the same after spending sonra 
years without having made any great proficiency, and wbat 
they hare learned becomes almost useless, so that their time 
has been lost— it would not have been better to have be- 
gun with the French, proceeding to the Italian, and Latin. 
For though after spending the same time they should quit tlie 
dtudy of languages and never arrive at the Latin, they would 
however have acquired another tongue or two that being in 
modern use might be serviceable to them in common life. 

After ten years' absence from Boston, and having become 
easy in my circumstances, I made a journey thither to visit 
my relations, which I could not sooner afford. In returning 
I called at Newport to see my brother James, then settled 
there with his printing house; our former differences were 
forgotten, and our meeting was very cordial and aSbctionafe: 
he was fast declining in health, and requested of me, that in 
case of his death, which he apprehended not for distant, I 
Would take home his son, then but ten years of age, and bring 
him up to the printing business. This I accoi*dingly perform- 
ed, sending iiim a few years to school before I took bim into 
the office. His mother carried on the business till he was 
grown up, when I assisted him with an assortment of new- 
types, those of his father being in a manner worn oat. Thus 
it was that I made my brother ample amends for the service 
I had deprived him of by leaving him so early. 

In 17S6, 1 lost one of my sous, a fine boy of four years 
old, by the small pox, taken in the common way. I long iv- 
gretted him bitterly, and still regret that t bad not given ft 
to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of pamts 
who omit that operation, on the supposition that they shoidl 
never forgive tliemselves if a child died under it; my exasi- 
pie shewing that the regret may be the same either way, nnd 
therefore that the safer should be chosen. 


Our dub^ tlie Junto, was Tound so useful, and afforded such 
iatisfaction to tiie members, that some were desirous of intro- 
daciug their friends* which could not well be done without 
exceeding what we bad settled as a convenient number; viz. 
twelve. We had from the beginning made it a rule to keep 
oor institiitioD a secret, which was pretty well observed; tiie 
intention was to avoid applications of improper persons for 
admittance, some of whom perhaps, we might find it difficult 
to refuse. I was one of those who were against any addition 
to our number, but Instead of it made in writing a proposal, 
that every member separately should endeavor to form a sub- 
ordinate club, with the same rules, respecting queries, &c. 
and without informing them of the connection with the Junto. 
The advantages proposed were the improvement of qo many 
more young citizens by the use of our institutions; our bet- 
ter acquaintance with the general sentiments of the inhabi- 
tants on any occasion, as the junto member might propose 
what queries we should desire, and was to report to the JuntOp 
what passed in his sepilrate club : the promotion of our par- 
ticular interests in business by more extensive recommenda- 
tion^ and the increase of our influence iii public affairs, and 
our power of doing good by spread in/; through tlie several 
clubs the sentiments of the Junto* The project was approved, 
and every member undertook to form his club: but they did 
not all SQCC^d. Five or six only were completed, which were 
called by different names, as the Vinef the Union, the Band, 
&C. they were useful to themselves, and afforded us a gqpd 
deal of amusement, information, and instruction; besides an- 
swering in 9onie considerable degree our views of influencing 
the public on particular occasions; of wliich I shall give some 
instances in course of time as they happened. 

My first promotion was my being chosen, in 1736, clerk of 
flie general assembly. The choice was made that year with- 
I out opposition, but the year following when I was again pro- 
posed, (thp choice like that of the members being annual) a 
new member made a long speech against me, in order to 
fo?or aome other candidate. I was however chosen, which 


was the n*ore agreeable to me^ as besides tbe pay for the im* 
mediate service of clerk, the place gave me a better oppor- 
tunity of keeping up an interest among the meinbers» which 
secured tome the business of printing the votes, laws, paper- 
money, and other occasional jobs for the pubHc, that on the 
whole were very profitable. I therefore did not like the op- 
position of this new member, wlio was a gentleman of for- 
tune and education, with talents tliat wei*e likely to give 
him in time great influence in the house, which indeed after- 
wards happened. I did not however aim at gaining his Cblyov 
by paying any servile respect to him, but after some time 
took this other metliod. Having heard that he had in Lis 
library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note 
to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and re- 
questing thab he would do me the favor of lending it to me 
for a few days. He sent it immediately; and I returned it in 
dbout a week with another note, expressing strongly my ^ose 
of the favor. When we next met in the house, he spoke to 
me, (which he4iad never done before) and with great civility ; 
and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all 
occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship 
continued to his death. This is anotlicr instance of the truth of 
an old maxim I had learned, which says, ** He that has anct 
done you a kindness will he more ready to do you anotherf tkam 
he whom you yourself have oMiged.** And it shows how much 
more profitable it is prudently to remove, than to resent, re- 
tui^, and continue inimical proceedings. 

In 1737, colonel Spotswood, late governor of Yirginiay 
and then postmaster-general, being dissatisfied with the con- 
duct of his deputy at Philadelpliia, respecting some negli- 
gence in rendering, and want of exactness in framing his ac- 
counts, took from him the commission and offered it to me. I 
accepted it readily, and found it of great advantage; for 
though the salary was small, it facilitated the correspondence 
that improved my newspaper, increased the number demand- 
ed, as well as the advertisements to be inserted, so that it 
came to afford me a considerable income. Myoldcompedtor's 


neswspaper declined proportionablj, and I was satisfied 
without retaliating his refusal, while postmaster, to permit my 
papei-8 being carried by the riders. Thus he suffei*ed greatly 
from his nt'glert in due accounting; and I mention it as a les- 
son to those young men who may be employed in managing 
affairs for others, that they should always render accoiuits^ 
and make remittances with great clearness and punctuality. 
The character of obserring such a conduct, is the most pow- 
erful of recommendations to new employments and increase 
of business. 

I began now to turn my thoughts to public affairs, beginning 
however with small matters. The city watch was one of the 
first things that I conceived to want regulation. It was man- 
aged by the constables of the respective wards in turn; the 
constable summoned a number of housekeepers to attend him 
for the night Those who chose never to attend paid him six- 
shillings a year to be excused, which was supposed to go to 
hiring substitutes, but was in reality much more than was 
necessary for that purpose, and made the constableship a 
place of profit; and the constable for a litde drink often got 
such ragamuffins about him as a watch, that respectable 
housekeepers did notchuse to mix with. Walking the rounds 
too was often neglected, and most of the nights spent in tip- 
pling: I thereupon wrote a paper to be read in junto, repre« 
senting these irregularities, but insisting more particularly 
on the inequality of this six-shilling tax of the constables, 
respecting the circumstances of those who paid it, since a 
poor widow housekeeper, all whose prop^Tty to be guarded 
by the watch did not perhaps exceed the value of fifty pounds, 
paid as much as the wealthiest merchant who had thousands 
of pounds worth of fi^ods in his stores. On the whole, I pro- 
posed as a more effectual watch, the hiring of proper men to 
serve constantly in the business ; and as a more equitable way 
of supporting the charge, the levying a tax that should be 
proportioned to ithc property. This idea being approved by 
the Junto, was communicated to the other clubs; but as ori- 
ginating' in each of them; and though the plan was not imme- 


diately carried into executioti* yet by preparing the minds of 
people for the change, it paved the way for the law obtained 
a few years after, when the membera of our clubs were growa 
into more influence. 

About this time I wrote a paper (first to be read in the 
JuntOy but it was afterwards published) on the different ac- 
cidents and carelessnesses by which houses were set on fire» 
wUh cautions against them, and means proposed of avoiding 
them. This was spoken of as an useful piece, and gave rise 
to a project, which soon followed it, of forming a company 
for the more ready extinguishing of fires, and mutual assis* 
tance in removing and securing of goods when in danger. 
Associates in this scheme were presently found, amounting to 
thirty. Our articles of agi*eement obliged every member lo 
keep always in good order, and fit for use, a certain number 
of leathern buckets, with strong bags and i>askets, (for pack- 
ing and transporting of goods) which were to be brought to 
•very fire; and we agreed about once a month to ^nd a social 
evening together, in discoursing and communicating such 
ideas as occurred to us upon the subject of fires, as might 
be useful in our conduct on such occasions. The utility of this 
institution soon appeared, and many more desiring to be ad- 
mitted than we thought convenient for one company, they 
were advised to form another, which was accordingly done; 
and thus went on one new company after another, till they 
became so numerous as to include most of the inhabitants who 
were men of property; and now at the time of my writing 
this, (though upwards of fifty years since its establishment,) 
that which I first formed, called the Unioit Firb Company^ 
still subsists;^ though the first members arc all deceasefl but 
one, who is older by a year than I am. Tho fines that have 
been paid by members for absence at the monthly meetings^ 
have been applied to the purchase of fire engines, ladders^ 
flre*books, and other useful implements for each company; so 
that I question whether there is a city in the world better 
provided with the means of putting a stop to beginning con- 
flagrations; and in fact, since these institutions the city has 

BBir JAMUf nuHKxnr. HI 

■erer lost by fire more than one or two koufles at a time* and 
the pannes have often been extinguished before the house ia 
which they began has been half consumed. 

In 17399 arrived among us from Ireland, the reverend Mr. 
Whitefteld, who had made himself remarkable there as an 
itinerant preacher. He was at first permitted to preach in 
some of our churches; but the clergy taking a dislike to him^ 
soon refused him their pulpits, and he was obliged to preach 
in the fields. The muhitude of all sects and denominations 
that attended his sermons were enormous, and it was a mat- 
ter of speculation to me^ (who was one of the number) to ob- 
serve the extraordinary influence of his oratory on bis hear- 
ers, and how much they admired and respected him, notwith- 
standing his common abuse of them, by assuring them, they 
were naturally half beasts and half devils. It was wonderful 
to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabi- 
tants. From being thoughtless or indifierent about religion^ 
it seemed as if all the world were growing religions, so that 
one coQid not walk through the town in an^vening withoat 
bearing psalms sung in difierent families of every street. 
And it being found inconvenient to assemble in the open air^ 
subject to its inclemencies, the building of a house to meet in, 
was no sooner proposed, and persons appointed to receive 
contributions, but sufficient sums were soon received to pro- 
cure the ground, and erect the building, which was one hun- 
dred feet long and seventy broa<l; and the work was carried 
with sQch spirit as to be finished in a much shorter time than 
could have been expected. Both house and ground w)ere vest- 
ed fai trustees, expressly for the use otanypreaclierqfany rdi- 
gions persuasion, who might desire to say something to the peo* 
pie at Philadelphia. The design in building not being to ac- 
commodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; 
so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople, were to send, a 
missionary to preach Mahomedanism to us, he would find a 
polpit at his service. 

Mr. Wbitefield, on leaving us, went preaching all the way 
through the colonies to Georgia! The settlement of itliat pro- 

112 MEMOIRS Olf 

Yince had lately been begun, but instead of being made with 
hardy industrious husbandmen, accustomed t» labor, the only 
people fit for such an enterprise, it was with ramllics of bro- 
ken shopkeepers, and other insolvent debtors; many of indo- 
lent and idle habits, taken out of the jails, who being set 
down in the woods, unqualified for clearing land, and unable 
to endure the hardships of a new settlement, perished in num- 
bers, leaving many helpless children unprovided for. The 
sight of their miserable situation inspired the benevolent 
heart of Mr. Vhitefield, with the idea of building an orphan- 
house there, in which they might be supported and educated. 
Returning northward, he preached up this charity, and made 
large collections: for his eloquence had a wonderful power 
over the hearts and purses of his hearers, of which I myself 
was an instance. I did not disapprove of the design, but as 
Greorgia was then destitute of materials and workmen, and 
it was proposed to send them from Philadelphia at a great 
expense, I thought it would have been better to have built 
the house at Philadelphia, and brought the childi*en to it. 
This I advised, but he was resolute in his first project, re- 
jected my counsel, and I tlierefore refused to contribute. I 
happened soon after to attend one of his sermons, in the 
course of which, I perceived he intended to finish witli a col- 
lection, and I silently resolved he should get nothing from 
me: I had in my pocket a handful of copper money, three or 
four silver dollars, and five pistoles in gold; as he proceeded 
I began to soften, and concluded to give the copper. Another 
stroke of his oratory made me ashamed of that, and deter- 
mined me to give the silver; and he finished so admirably, 
that I emptied my pocket wholly into the collector's dtsb, 
gold and all! At this sermon there was also one of our club^ 
who being of my sentiments respecting the building in Geor- 
gia, and suspecting a collection might be intended, had by 
precaution emptied his pockets befor^ he came from home; 
towards ttie conclusion of the discourse however, he felt a 
strong inclination to give, ^and applied to a neighbor who 
stood near him, to lend him some money for the purpose* 


.Tbe request was fortunately made to perhaps the only man 
in the company who had the firmness not to be affected by 
the preacher. His answer was, « M any iOher Hme, frknd 
Mo^nsan, I would lend to thee fredy; but not noWf for thee 
^eems tome to be tmt of thy r^ht sensesJ* 

Some of Mr. Whitefieid's enemies affected to sappose^ that 
be would apply these collections to his own private anolu- 
ment; but I who was intimately acqiialnted with him (being 
employed in printing his sermonsi journalsy &c.) never had 
Che least suspicion of his integrity; but am to this day de- 
cidedly of opinion, that he was in all his conduct a perfectly 
honest fnan; and mcthinks mj testimony in his favor ought 
to have the more wei^t, as we had no religious connexion. He 
osed indeed sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never 
had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard. 
Ours was a mere civil friendship, sincere on both sides, and 
lasted to his death. The following instance will show the terms 
on which we stood. Upon one of his arrivals from England at 
Boston, he wrote to me that he should come soon to Fhila" 
ddphia, but knew not where he could lodge when there, as 
be understood his old friend and host, Mr. Benezet, was re^ 
moved to Crermantown. My answer was, you know my house} 
if you can make sliift with its scanty accommodations you 
will be most heartily welcome. He replied, that if I made 
that kind offer for Christ's sake, I should not miss of a re* 
ward. And I returned, << don't let mc be mistaken; it was 
not for Chrises sake, but for yotir sake.^* One of our common 
acqu^ntance jocosely remarked, that knowing it to be the 
custom of the saints, when they received any favor, to shift 
tbe burthen of the obligation from off their ovm shoulders, 
and place it in heaven, I had contrived to fix it on earth* 

Tbe last time I saw Mr. Whitefield, was in London, whw 
lie consulted me about his erphan-house concern, and his por-* 
poee of aj^ropriating it to the establishment of a college* 

He bad a loud and clear voice, and articulated his words sd 
perfectly that he misbt be beard and anderstood at a great 

Voj2.t H 

114 MEMOIRS 0¥ 

distance; especially as his auditories observed the most per- 
fect sHence. He preached one evening from t!ie top of the 
Court-House steps, which are in tlie middle of Market street, 
and on the west side of Second street, which crosses it at 
right angles. Both streets were filled with his hearers to a 
considerable distance: being among the hindmost in Market 
street, I had the curiosity to learn how far he could be heard, 
by retiring backwards down the street towards the river, and 
I found his voice distinct till I came near Front street, when 
some noise in that street obscured it Imagining then a semi- 
circle, of which my distance should be the radius, and that it 
was filled with auditors, to each of whom I allowed two 
square feet; I computed that he might well be heard by more 
than thirty thousand. This reconciled me to the newspaper 
accounts of his having preached to 25,000 pecfple in the fields^ 
and to the history of generals haranghing whole armies, of 
whi( h I had sometimes doubted. 

By hearing him often I came to distinguish easily between 
sermons newly composed, and those which he had often preach- 
ed in the course of his travels. His delivery of the latter was 
so improved by fi^equent repetition, that every accent, every 
emphasis, every modulation of voice, was so perfectly well- 
turned and well-placed, that without being interested in the 
subject, one could not help being pleased with the discourse; 
a pleasure of much the same kind with that received from an 
excellent piece of music. This is an advantage itinerant 
preachers have over those who are stationary, as the latter 
cannot well improve their delivery of a sermon by so many 
rehearsals. His writing and printing from time to time gave 
great advantage to his enemies ; unguarded expressions, and 
even erroneous opinions delivered in preaching, might hare 
been afterwards explained or qualified, by supposing others 
that might have accompanied them ; or they might have been 
denied ; but litera scripta mane^* critics attacked his writings 
violently, and with so much appearance of reason, as to dimi- 
ni*^h the number of his votaries and prevent their increase. 
So that J am satisfied that if be had never written any thing* 


be would have 1^(1 behind him a much more numerous and 
important sect; and his reputation might in that 'case have 
been still growing even after his death; as tkiere being no- 
thing of bis writing on which to found a censure, and give 
bim a lower character, his proheljrtes would he left at li- 
berty to attribute to him as great a variety of excellencies, as 
their enthusiastic admiration might wish him to have pos- 

My business was now constantly augmenting, and my cir- 
comstances growing daily easier, my newspaper having be- 
come very profitable, as being for a time almost the only one 
in this and the neighboring provinces. I experienced too the 
truth of tlie observation, « thai after getting the first hundred 
pounds it is more easy to get the second:** money itself being 
of a prolific nature. 

The partnership at Carolina having succeeded, I was en* 
cooragcd to engage in others, and to promote several of my 
workmen who had behaved well, by establishing them with 
printing bouses in different colonies, on the same terms with 
that in Carolina. Most of them did well, being enabled at 
tlie end of our term, (six years,) to purchase the types of me 
and go on worthing for tliemselves; by which means several 
families were raised. Partnerships often finish in quarrels, 
but I was happy in this that mine were all carried, on and end- 
ed amicably; owing I think a good deal to the precaution of 
having very explicitly settled in our articles, every thing to 
be done by or expected from each partner; so that there was 
nothing to dispute; which precaution I would therefore re- 
commend to all who enter into partnerships; for whatever 
esteem partners may have for, and confidence in each other 
at the time of the contract, little jealousies and disgusts may 
arise, with ideas of inequality in the care and burthen, busi- 
ness, &c« which are attended often with breach of friendship 
and of the connection; perhaps with law-suits and other dis- 
agreeable consequences. 

I had on the whole abundant reason to be satisfied with my 
being established in Pennsylvania; there were however some 

116 MEMeni»07 

things that I regretted, there being no proTieion for defence^ 
nor for a complete educatiqp of youth; no militiay nor any 
college: I therefore in 1743 drew up a proposal for establiab- 
ing an academy; and at that time, thinking the Rev. Ri- 
chard Peters, who was ont of employ, a fit person to superin- 
tend such an institution, I communicated tiie project to him: 
but he having more profitable views inthesenriceof the pro- 
prietors, which succeeded, declined the undertaking: and not 
knowing another at that time suitable for such a trust, I let 
the scheme lie awhile dormant. I succeeded better the next 
year 1744, in proposing and establishing a PAsfeMpfttcal Bo^ 
eUty. The paper I wrote for that purpose, will be found 
among my writings; if not lost with many others. 

With respect to defence, Spain baring been several years 
at war against Grea^ Britain, and being at length joined by 
France, which brought us into great danger; and the labored 
and long continued endeavor ofour gorernor, Thomas, to pre- 
▼ail with our Quaker assembly to pass a mOitia law, and 
make other provisions for the security of the province, hay- 
ing proved abortive; I proposed to try what might be done 
by a voluntary subscription of the people: to promote this, I 
first wrote and published a pamphlet, intitled Pxaik Tjufth, 
in which I stated our helpless situation in strong lights, with 
the necessity of union and discipline for our defence, and pro- 
mised to propose in a few days, an association, to be gene- 
rally signed for that purpose. The pamphlet had a sudden 
and surprising efiect. I was called upon for the instrument of 
association ; having settled the draught of it with a few friends, 
I appointed a meeting of the citizens in the large building be- 
forementioned. The house was pretty full; I had prepared a 
number of printed copies, and provided pens and ink dispers- 
ed all over the room. I harangued them a little on the sub- 
ject, read the paper, explained it, and tlien distributed the 
copies, which were eagerly signed, not the least objection 
being made. When tlie company separated, and the papers 
were collected, we found above twelve hundred signatures; 
and other copies being dispersed in the country, the subscri- 


tosanoQiited at length to upwards of ten thoosand. These 
all funiisbed tliemseives as soon as they could with arms, 
fonoed themselTer into companies, and regiments, chose their 
ew9 officers, and met every week to be instructed in the ma- 
nual exercise, and other parts of military discipline. Thewo- 
neo, by subscriptions among themselves, provided silk eo- 
hHirs, which they presented to the companies painted with 
different devices and mottos, which I supplied. The officers 
of the companies composing the Philadelphia regiment, being 
met, chose me for their colonel; but conceiving myself unfit, 
I declined that station, and recommended Mr. Lawrence, a 
fine person, and a man of influence, who was accordingly 
appointed. I then proposed a lottery to defray the expense of 
building a battery below the town, and furnished with can- 
non: it filled expeditiously, and the battery was soon erected, 
the merlons being framed of logs and filled with earth. We 
boi^t some old cannon from Boston, but these not being 
Sttfiicient, we wrote to London for more; soliciting at the 
same time our proprietaries for some assistance, though with- 
out much expectation of obtaining it. Meanwhile, colonel 
Lawrence, Allen, Abraham Taylor, esquires^ and my- 
self, were sent to New York by the associators, commission- 
ed to borrow some cannon of governor Clinton. He at first 
refused us peremptorily; but at a dinner with his council, 
where there was great drinking of madeira wine, as the cus- 
tom of that place then was, he softened by degrees, and said 
he would lend us* six. After a few more bumpers he advanced 
to ten; and at length he very good-naturedly conceded eigh- 
teen. They were fine cannon, 18 pounders, with their car- 
riages, which were soon transported and mounted on our bat- 
teries, where the associators kept a nightly guard while the 
war lasted: and among the rest, I regularly took my turn of 
duty there as a common soldier. 

My activity in these operations was agreeable to the go- 
vernor and council; they took me into confidence, and I was 
consulted by them in every measure, where their concurrence 
i thought useful to the association. Calling in the aid of 


religioiif I proposed to them the proclaiming a faatt to fvo^ 
mote reformation^ and implore the blessing of heaven on our 
undertaking. They embraced the motion, bat as it was the 
first fast ever thought of in the province, the secretary had no 
precedent from which to draw the proclamation. My ediica* 
tion in New England, where a fast is proclaimed every year, 
was kere of some advantage: I drew it in the accustomed 
style, it was translated into German, printed in both lan- 
guages and circulated through the province. This gave the 
clergy of the difierent sects an opportunity of influencing 
their congregations to join in the association, and it would 
probably have been general among all but the Quakers, if 
the peace bad not soon interve^ied. 

It was thought by some of my friends, that by my activity 
in these affairs, I should offend that sect, and tliereby lose 
my interest in the assembly of tlie province, where they form- 
ed a great majority. A young man who had likewise some 
friends in the assembly and wished to succeed me as their 
clerk, acquainted me that it was decided to displace me at the 
next election; and he through good will advised me to resi^, 
as more consistent with my honor than being turned out. My 
answer to him was, that I had read or heard of some public 
man, who made it a rule, never to ask for an offkCf and ne^ 
ver to refuse one when offered to him. I approve, said I, of 
this rule, and shall practise it with a small addition; I shall 
never ask, never refust^ nor ever resign an office. If they 
wilt have my office of clerk to dispose of it to another, they 
shall take it from me. I will not by giving it up, lase my right 
of some time or other making reprisal on my adversaries. I 
heard however no more of this: I was chosen again unanimous- 
ly as clerk at the next election. Possibly as they disliked my 
late intimacy with the members of council who had joined 
the governors in all the disputes about military preparations* 
with which the house had long been harassed, they might 
have been pleased if I would voluntarily have left them ; but 
they did not care to displace me on account merely of my zeal 
for the association, and they could not well give another rea- 


son. Indeed I had some cause to believe that the defence of 
the couutry was hot disagreeable to any of them, provided 
they were not required to assist in iU And I found that a 
much greater number of tliem than I could have imagined^ 
thougii against offensive war^ were clearly for the defensive- 
Many pamphlets pro and can were published on the subject, 
and some by good Quakers, in favor of defence ; wliich I be- 
lieve convinced most of their young people. A transaction in 
oor fire company gave me some insiglit into their prevailing 
sentiments. It had been proposed that we should ehcourago 
the scheme for building a battery by laying out tlie present 
stocky then about sixty pounds, in tickets of the lottery. By 
our rules no money could be disposed of till the next meeting 
after tiie proposal. The coinpany consisted of thirty mem- 
bersy of which twenty-two were Quakers, and eight only of 
other persuasions. We eight punctually attended the meeting; 
but though we thought that some of the Quakers would join 
ns, we were by no means sure of a majority. Only one Qua- 
ker, Mr. James Morris, appes|red to oppose the measure. He 
expressed much sorrow that it had ever been proposed, as he 
saAA friends were all against it, and it would create such dis- 
cord as might break up the company. We told him that we 
9aw no reason for that; w£ were the minority, and lifrknds 
were against the measure, and out-voted us, we must and 
should, agreeable to the usage of all societies, submit. When 
the hour for business arrived, it was moved to put this to the 
Tote: he allowed we might do it by the rules, but as he could 
assure us that a number of members intended to be present 
for the purpose of opposing it, it would be but candid to allow 
a little time for their appearing. While we were disputing 
this, a waiter came to tell mc, tw^o gentlemen below desired 
to speak with me; I went down, and found there two of our 
Quaker membei's. They told me there were eight of them as- 
sembled at a tavern just by; that they were determined to 
come and vote with us if there should be occasion, which they 
hoped WQiIld not be the case, and desired we would not call 
for tbeir assistance^ if we could do without it; as their voting 


for such a measure might embroil them wiUi their elders and 
friends; being tliussccui*e oi' a majority » I went up, and after 
a iittle seeming hesitation, agreed to a dekiy of another tioor. 
This Mr. Morris allowed to be extremely fair. Not one of 
his opposing friends appeared, at which he expressed f^reat 
surprise; and at the expiration of the hour, we carried tlie re- 
solution eight to one: and as of tbe 2£ Quakers, 8 were ready 
to Tote with us, and 13 by tbeir absence manifested that they 
were not inclined to opi^ose tbe measure, I afterwards estioia- 
ted the proportion of Quakers sincerely against defence as 1 
to 21 only. For these were all regular members of the ao- 
ciety, and in good reputation among them, and who had no- 
tice of what was proposed at that meeting. 

The honorable and learned Mr. Logan, who bad always 
been of that sect, wi^te an address to them declaring hia ap- 
probation of defensive war, and supported his opinion by 
many strong arguments: he put into my hands sixty pounds 
to be laid out in lottery tickets for the battery, with directiona 
to apply what prizes might be drawn wholly to that senrjce^ 
He told me the following anecdote of his old master, WilUam 
Penn, respecting defence. He came over from England when 
a young man, with that proprietary, and as his secretai^. It 
was war time, and their ship was chased by an armed vesselj 
supposed to be an enemy. Tbeir captain prepared for defence; 
but told William Penn, and his company of Quakers, that 
he did not expect their assistance, and they might retire into 
the cabin; which tliey did, except James Logan, who cfaoae 
to stay upon deck, and was quartered to a gun. The supposed 
enemy prored a friend, so there was no fighting: but when 
the secretary went down to communicate the intelligenee^ 
VfUlizifk Penn rebuked him severely for staying upon deck* 
and undertaking to assist in defending the vessel, contrary 
to tbe principles of Friends | especially as it had not been 
required by the captain. This reprimand, being before aD 
the company, piqued the secretary, who answered: ^^Ihnng 
tftf servant, why did thto Ml (vrder me i0 caOte d^rton; hut Mm 


woM wUlit^ enough thatlshoM stay and help tejighi the ship, 
when 1ht€ thought there woe danger.** 

My being many yeara in the assembly, a majority of 
wbich were constantly Qliakers, gave me frequent opportuni- 
ties of seeing the embarrassment given, them by their princi- 
fh against war^ whenever application was m;ide to them, by 
order of the crown^ to grant aids for military purposes. 
Tbey were nnwilling to offend government on the one hand, by 
a direct refusal; and their friends the (body of the Quakers) on 
the other> by a compliance contrary to their princiiries; using 
a i;ar]ety of evasion to avoid complying, and modes of dis- 
gniaiiig the compliance, when it became unavoidable. The 
eommon mode at last was, to grant money under the phrase 
of its being ^for the king's use/* and never to inquire how 
it was applied. But if the demand was not directly from the 
crowjif that phrase was found not so proper, and some other 
was to be invented. Thus, when powder was wanting (I think 
it was for the garrison at Louisbtirg) and the government of 
New England solicited a grant of some from Pennsylvania^ 
wUch was much urged on the house by governor Thomas | 
tbey woidd not grant money to buy powder t because that was 
an ingredient of war; but they voted an aid to New England 
of three thousand pounds to he put in the hands of the go- 
▼emor, and appropriated it for the purchase of bread, flour^ 
wheat or other grain. Some of the count il, desirous of 
giring the house still further erobsirrassmenf, Hdriscd the 
goveranr not to accept provision, as not being the thing he 
bad demanded: but he replied, << I shall take the money, for 
I anderstand very well their meaning, oUur grain is gun- 
powder;'' which he accordingly bought, and they never ob* 
jeded to it. It was in allusion to this fact, that when in our 
. Are company we feared the success of our proposal in favor 
of the lottery, and I had said to a friend of mine, one of our 
members, <^ if we fail, let us move the purchase of a fire en- 
giae with the money; the Quakers ran have no objection to 
timt; aod th^n if you nominate me and I you as a committee 
Vol. I. R 

1£^ ^TEMOIKS trt 

for that parpose, wc will buy a great gun, wtiich is cer- 
tainly a Jire engineJ* I see, saya he, you have improTed by 
being so long in the assembly; your equivocal project would 
be just a match for their wheat or other grain. 

Those embarrassments that the Quakers suffered from bar* 
ing established and published it as one of their principles, tliaft 
no kind of war was lawful, and which being once published, 
they could not afterwards, (however they might change their 
minds,) easily get rid of, remihds me of what I think a more 
prudent conduct in another sect among us — that of the Dun>- 
kers. I was acquainted with one of its founders, Mickael 
Weffare, soon after it appeai*cd. He complained to me that 
they were grievously calumniated by the zealots of other 
persuasions, and charged with abominable principles and 
practices, to which they were utter strangers. I told him 
this had always been the case with new sects, and that to 
put a stop to such abuse, I imagined it might be well to pub* 
lish the articles of their belief, and the rules of their disci- 
pline. He said that it had been proposed among them, but not 
agreed to for this reason; « When we were first drawn to- 
gether as a society (said he,) it had pleased God to enlighten 
. our minds so far as to see that some doctrines, which were 
esteemed truths, were errors; and that others which we have 
esteemed errors, were real truths. From time to time be has 
been pleased to afford us farther light, and our principles have 
been improving, and our errors diminishing: now we are not 
sure that we are arrived at the end of this progression, and 
at the perfection of spiritual or theological knowlege; and we 
fear that if we should once print our confession of faith, we 
should feel ourselves as if bound and confined by it, and per- 
haps be unwiUing to receive further improvement; and our 
successors still more so, as conceiving what their elders 
and founders had done, to be something sacred, never to 
be departed from.'^ This modesty in a sect, is perhaps a sin- 
gular instance in the history of mankind, every other sect 
supposing itself in possession of all truth, and that those 
who differ are so far in the wrong: like a man travelling in 

taggj weather; those at some distance before him on the 
road he sees wi^pt up in the fog, as well as those behind him^ 
and also the people in the fields on each side; but near him all 
appear clear; though in truth he is as much in the fog as any 
of them. To avoid this kind of embarrassment, the Quakers 
have of late years been gradually declining the public senrice 
in the assembly and in the rtiagistracy, choosing rather to 
quit their power than their principle. 

In order of time, I should have mentioned before, that bar- 
ing in 1742, invented an open stove for the better warming of 
rooms, and at the same time saving fuel, as the fresh air ad- 
mitted was warmed in entering, I made a present of the mo- 
del to Mr. Robert Grace, one of my early friends, who having 
an iron fnmance, found the casting of the plates for these 
stoves a profitable thing, as they were growing in demand. 
To promote tliat demand* I wrote and published a pamphlet^ 
entitled, << ^n Jceount of the new-invented Pennsylvania Fire 
JPiace&; wherein their construction and manner of operation is 
particularly explained, their advantages above every method of 
warming rooms demonstrated; and all objections that have been 
raised against the use of them, answered and obviated, 8[c.^^ ■ 
This pamphlet bad a good effect; governor Thomas was so 
pleased with the construction of this stove as described in it> 
that he offered to give me a patent for the sole vending of 
tliem for a term of years; but I declined it, from a principle 
which has ever weighed with me on such occasions; viz. 
That as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of 
others^ we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by 
any invention of ours ; and this we should do freely and gene- 

An ironmonger in London, however, assuming a good deal 
of my pamphlet, and working it up into his own, and making 
some small changes in the machine, which rather hurt its 
operation; got a patent for it there, and made, as I was told, 
a little fortune by it And this is not the only instance of pa- 

• Bcc r»p«Xf on Philosophical Subjects, Vol. m. of tins edition, p. 403. 

124 MBMeiRS Of 

tents taken out of my tnrentiona by others, tltoagb not •!« 
Ways with tlie same success; which I never contested, as hav- 
ing no desire of profiting by patents myself, and hating dis- 
putes. The use of these fire places in very many bouses, both 
here in Pennsylvania, and the neighboring States^ has beeii^ 
and is, a great savirt;; of wood to the inhabitants. 

Peace being concluded, and the association business there* 
fore at an end, I turned my thoughts again to the affair of 
establishing an academy. The first step I took was to associ* 
ate in the design a nuihber of active friends, of whon the 
Junto furnished a good part: the next was to write and {Nib* 
lish a pamphlet, entitled, « Proposals rdaiiag to the Eduea- 
Hon of Fovih in Pennsylvania.** This I distributed among 
the principal inhabitants gratis: and as soon as I could sup- 
pose tiieir minds a little prepared by the perusal of it, I set 
on foot a subscription for opening and supporting an acade- 
my; it was to be paid in quotas yearly for five years; by so 
dividing it 1 judged the subscription might be larger; and I 
believe it was so, amounting to no less^ if I remember right, 
than five thousand pounds. 

In the introduction to these proposals, I stated their publi- 
cation not as an act of mine, but of some pMiC'SpitiUd gen^ 
tUmen; avoiding as much as I could, according to my usual 
rule, the pi*es(?nting myself to the public as the author of any 
scheme for their benefit. 

The subscribers, to carry the project into immediate ex* 
ecution, chose out of their number twenty-four trustees, and 
appointed Mr. Francis, then atturney-gencral, and myself, 
to draw up constitutions Tor the government of the academy; 
which being done and signed, a house was hired, masters en- 
gaged, and the schools opened; I think in the same year 

The scholars increasing fast, the house was soon found too 
small* and we wore looking out for a piece of ground, pro- 
perly Hituated, with intent to build, when accident threw into 
our way a large house ready built, which with a few altera* 
Uons might wgU serve our purpose: this was the buiUUng ^ 


forenientionedt erected by the heaiTrs of Mr, Whitefield^ and 
was obtained for us in the (oUowing manner. 

It is to be noted, that the contributions to this building be- 
ing made by people of different sects, care was taken in the 
nomiBation of trustees, in whom the building and ground 
were to be vested, that a predominancy should not be given 
^ ^JlriH^ ^^ in ^^^^ ^^>At predominancy might be a means 
of appMPiating the whole to the use of such sect, contrary 
to the original intention ; it was for tliis reason that one of 
each sect was appointed; viz. one Church of England man, 
one Presbyterian, one Baptist, one Moravian, &c., who in 
caM of vacancy by death, were to fill it by election among 
the contributors. The Moravian happened not to please his 
colleagues, and on his deatli they resolved to have no other of 
that sect; the difSrulty then was, how to avoid having two of 
flome other sect, by means of the new choice. Several per- 
sons were named, and for that reason not agreed to : at length 
one mentioned me, with the observation, that I was merely 
an honest man, and of no sfcl at all, which prevailed with 
them to choose me. The enthusiasm which existed when the 
house was built, had long since abated, and its trustees had 
not been able to procure fresh contributions for paying the 
ground rent, and dischaiKing some other debts the building 
had occasioned, which embarrassed them greatly. Being now 
a member of both boards of trustees, that for the building, 
and that for the academy, I had a good opportunity of nego- 
tiating with both, and brought them finally to an agreement, 

; by which the trustees for the building were to cede it to those 
of the academy; the latter undertaking to discharge the debt, 
to keep for ever open in the building a large hall for occa- 
sional preachers, according to the original intention, and 
Mintain a free school for the instruction of poor children. 
Writings were accordingly drawn; and on paying the debts, 
the trustees of the academy were put in possession of the pre- 
ttiaes; and by dividing the great and lofty hall into stories, 
nil different rooms above and below for the several schools, 
ttd iwrdiastaig dome additional ground, the whole was soon 

126 ' MEMoms OF 

made fit for our purpose, and the scliolars removed into tiie 
building. The whole care and trouble of agreeing with tlie 
workmen, purchasing materials, and superintending the work, 
fell upon me, and I went through it the more cheerfaUy* as it 
did not then interfei-e with my private business; having tlie 
year before taken a very able, industrious, and honest part- 
ner, Mr. David Hall, with whose character I wlijiN'' ^' 
quainted, as he had worked for me four years; l^rookof 
my hands all care of the printing office, paying me punctually 
my share of the profits. This partnership continued eighteen 
years, successfully for us both. 

The trustees of the academy after a while, were incorpo- 
rated by a charter from the governor; their funds were in- 
creased by contributions in Britain, and grants of land from 
the proprietaries, to which the assembly has since made con- 
siderable addition; and thus was established the present uni- 
versity of Philadelphia. I have been continued one of its 
trustees from the beginning, (^now near forty years,) and 
have had the very great pleasure of seeing a number of the 
youth who have received their education in it, distinguisbed 
by their improved abilities, serviceable in public stations, and 
ornaments to their country. 

When I was disengaged myself, ^as abovementioned, (rm 
private business, I flattered myself that by the sufficient) 
though moderate fortune I had acquhred, I had found leisure 
during the rest of my life for philosophical studies and amosC' 
ments. I purchased all Dr. Spence's apparatus, who had cone 
from England to lecture in Philadelphia, and I proceeded in 
my electrical experiments with great alacrity; but the public 
now considering me as a man of leisure, laid hold of me for 
their purposes; every part of our civil government, aad 
almost at the same time, imposing some duty upon me. Tbe 
governor put me into the commission of the peace; the cor- 
poration of the city chose me one of the common council and 
soon after alderman; and the citizens at large elected me a 
burgess to represent them in assembly; this latter station 
was tbe more agreeable to me, as I grew at length tired «i^ 


sitting there to hear the debates, in which as clerk I could 
take no part; and which were often so uninteresting, that I 
was induced to amuse myself with making magic squares or 
circles,* or any thing to avoid weariness; and I conceived « 
my becoming a member, would enlarge my power of doing 
good. I would not however insinuate that my ambition was 
not flattered by all these promotions: it certainly was; for 
considering my low beginning, they were great things to me: 
and they were still more pleasing, as being so many sponta- 
neous testimonies of the public good opinion, and by me en- 
tirely unsolicited. 

The oiSce of justice of the peace I tried a little, by attend- 
ing a few courts, and sitting on the bench to hear causes; but 
finding that more knowlege of the common law than I pos- 
sessed was necessary to act in that station with credit, I gra- 
dually withdrew from it; excusing myself by my being ob- 
liged to attend the higher duties of a legislator in the assem- 
bly. My election to this trust was repeated every year for 
ten years, without my ever asking any elector for his vote, or 
signifying cither directly or indirectly any desii'e of being 
cbosen. On taking my seat in the house, my son was appoint- 
ed lieir clerk. 

The year following, a treaty being to be held with the In- 
dians at Carlisle, the governor sent a message to the house, 
proposing that they should nominate some of their members, 
to be joined with some members of council, as commission- 
ers for that purpose. The house named the speaker, (Mr. 
Norris) and myself; and being commissioned we went to 
Carlisle, and met the Indians accordingly. As those people 
are extremely apt to get drunk, and w ,. n so are very quar- 
relsome and disorderly, we strictly forbade the selling any 
liquor to then;i : and when they complained of this restriction 
ve told them, that if they would continue sober during the 
tivaty, we would give them plenty of rum when the business 
^ras.over. They promised this, and they kept their promise, 
i^ s=g=-~-*->— , . . , , . i.. .,1. .. , .. 

* Stc several of these, in " Papera on Subjects of Philosophy^ £jfc." 


12& MEM01R8 OV 

because they could get no rum ; and the treaty was conducted 
very orderly » and concluded to mutual satisfaction. They 
then claimed and received the rum ; this was in the aftemooR; 
Ihey were near one hundred men, women, and children, and 
were lodged in temporary cabins, built in tlie form of a 
square just without the town. In the evening hearing a great 
noiso among them, the commissioners walked to see whtt 
was the matter; we lound they had made a great bonfire in 
the middle of the square: they were all drunk, men and wo- 
men, quarreling and fighting. Their dark-colored bodies, 
half-naked, seen only by the gloomy light of the bonfire, run- 
ning after and beating one another with firebrands, accooi- 
' panied by their horrid yellings, formed a scene the most re* 
sembling our ideas of bell tliat could well be imagined; there 
was no appeasing the tumult, and we retired to our lodging. 
At midnight a number of them came thundering at our door, 
demanding more rum, of which we took no notice. The next 
day, sensible they had misbehaved in giving us that distur- 
bance, they sent three of their old counsellors to make tbdr 
apology. The orator acknowlrged the fault, but laid it upon 
the rum; and then endeavored to excuse the rum, by sayingy 
« The Great Spirit who mnde all things, made every thing for 
some use, and whatever use lie designed any thing for, that use 
U should always be put to]: now, wiien he made rum, be said, 


and it must be so." And indeed if it be the design of Pro?i- 
dence to extirpate these savages, in order to make room for 
the cultivators of the earth, it seems not impossible that rum 
may be the appointed means. It has already annihilated all 
the tribes who formerly inhabited the sea coast. 

In 1751, Dr. Thomas Bond, a particular friend of rainf, 
conceived ttie idea of establishing an hospital in Philadelphia, 
(a very beneficent design, which has been ascribed to me, 
but was originally and truly his) for the reception and cure 
of poor sick persons, whether inhabitants of the province or 
strangers. He was zealous and active in endeavoring to pro- 
cure subscriptions for it; but the proposal being a novelty in 

AwKakm, mi at first net weH undentood^ ke met but with 
iMie success. At length be came to me with the complimf nt» 
tbaft he foimd there was no such a tbin^ as carryiHg a piriH 
lic-epiritefl project through without my beii^ concerned in it. 
M For/' said he «< i am often asked by (boss to whom I pro* 
pose sabfscribiog, Eav$ you conaMsd FraMin on tkU tali-' 
vfiu9 Md what does he think ^U9 And when I teU them that 
I have not, (supposing it rather out of your line) they do not 
subscribe, bet say, ihty will eon$ider UJ^ I inquired into the 
natare and probable utility of the scheme, and receiTiag 
from biai a very satisfactory explanation, 1 not only anbf- 
scribed to it myself, but engaged heartily in the design of 
procnris^ subscriptions from others: previous howev<er to tha 
solicitation, I endeavored to prepare the minds of the peo« 
pie, by writing on the subject in the newspapers, which was 
my usual custom in such cases, but which Dr. Bond had 
omitted. The subscriptions afterwards wero moro froe and 
generous; but begtoning to flag, I saw they would be insuf- 
ficient without some assistance from the assembly, and ihett^ 
fore proposed to petition for it; which was done. The coun- 
try members did not at first rolisb tbe project; t)iey objected 
that it cottld only be serviceable to tbo city, and thereforo 
tbe citisens alone should be at the expense of it; and they 
doubted whether the citizens themselves generally approved 
of it My allegation on the contrary, that it met with such 
apfMtAation as to leave no doubt of our being able to raise 
two thousand pounds by voluntary donations, they consider* 
ed as a most extravagant supposition and utterly impossibk. 
On this I formed my plan; and asking leave to bring in a 
bUl for incorporating the contributors according to the pray- 
er of their petition, and granting them a blank sum of money ; 
wbkh leave was obtained chiefly on the consideration, that 
tbe house could throw the bill out if they did not like it, I 
drew it so as to make tbe important clause a conditional one; . 
viau '< And be it enacted by tbe authority aforesaid, that when 
tiie said contributors shall have met and cbeeea their mana^ 
Voi.t S 


gers and treasurer, and shall have raised by their contribv^ 
tions a capital stock of two thousand pounds value, (tho 
yearly interest of which is to be applied to the accommoda- 
tion of the sick poor in the said hospital, and of charge for diet, 
attendance, advice, and medicines,) and sAoQ mafce ^ same 
appear to the satUfaction of the speaker of the JissenMyfor the 
time beings that then it shall and may be lawful for the said 
spieaker, and he is hereby required to sign an order on the 
provincial treasurer, for the payment of two thousand pounds 
in two yearly payments, to the treasurer of the said bospita!, 
to be applied to the founding, building, and finishing of the 
same." This condition carried the bill through; for the mem- 
bers who had opposed the grant, and now. conceived tbej 
might have the credit of being charitable without the expense^ 
agl-eed to its passage: and then in soliciting subscriptions 
among the people, we urged the conditional promise of the 
la\7 as an additional motive to give, since every man's do- 
nation would be doubled : thus the clause worked both ways. 
The subscriptions accordingly soon exceeded the requisite 
sum, ana we claimed and received the public gift, which en- 
abled us to carry the design into execution. A convenient 
and handsome building was soon erected, theinstitution has 
by constant experience been found useful, and flourishes to 
this day; and I do not remember' any of my political ma- 
nceuvres, the success of which at the time gave me more 
pleasure; or wherein, after thinking of it, I more easily ex- 
cused myself for having made some use of cunning. 

It was about this time, that anotlier projector, the Rer. 
Gilbert Tennent, came to roe with a request, that I would as- 
sist him in procuring a subscription for erecting a new meet- 
ing house. It was to be for tlie use of a congregation he had 
gathered among the Presbyterians, who were originally dis- 
ciples of Mr. Whitefield. Unwilling to make myself disagree- 
able to my Fellow citizens, by too frequently soliciting their 
contributions, I absolutely refused. He then desired I would' 
furnish him with a list of the names of persons I knew by 
experience to be generous and public spirited. I thought it 


woidd be onbecoming in me, after their kind compliance with 
mj 8oIicttation» to mark them out to be worried by other beg« 
gars, and therefore refused to give such a list He then de« 
sired I would at least give him my advice. That I will do 
said I; and, in the first place, I advise, you to apply to all 
those who you know will give something; next, to those who 
yoo are uncertain whether they will give any thing or not; 
and shew them the list of those who have given: and lastly, 
do not neglect those who you are sure will give notliing; for 
in some of them you may he mistaken. He laughed and 
thanked me, and said he would take my advice. He did so, 
for he asked of every bodiff and he obtained a much larger 
sam than he, expected, with which he erected the capacious 
and elegant meeting-house that stands in Arch street 

Our city, though laid out with a beautiful regularity, the 
streets large, straight, and crossing each other at right an- 
gles, had the disgrace of suffering those streets to remain 
.long unpaved, and in wet weather the wheels of heavy car- 
riages ploughed them into a quagmire, so that it was diflSirult 
to cross them; and in dry weather the dust was offensive. I 
bad lived near what was called the Je^^s^y market, and saw 
with pain the inhabitants wading in mud, while purchasing 
their provisions. A strip of ground down the middle of that 
market was at length paved with brick, so that being once 
in the market they had firm footing; but were often over 
shoes in dirt to get there. By talking and writing on the sub- 
ject, I was at length instrumental in getting the streets paved 
with stone between the market and the brick footpavement that 
was on the side next the houses. This for some time gave an 
easy access to the market dry-shod ; but the rest of the street 
not being pared, whenever a carriage came out of the mud 
upon this pavement, it shook off and left its dirt upon it, and 
it was soon covered with mire, wiiich was not removed, the 
city as yet having no scavengers. After some inquiry I found 
a poor industrious man who was willing to undertake keep- 
ing the pavement clean, by sweeping it twice a-week, carry- 
ing off the dirt from before all the neighbors' doors, for the 

13£ MBMOIllS OF 

flam of Buqieiiee ^r tMnth, to be paid by each house. I tteo 
wrote and printed a paper, setting forth the advantages lo 
the neighborbood that might be obtained from this soml 
expense; the greater ease in keeping our houses dean, ss 
much dirt not being hrougirt in by people's feet; the beneit 
to the shops by more custom, as buyers couM more easBy 
get at them; and by not having in windy weather the dmt 
blown in upon their goods, &c. I sent one of these papers 
to eiicli house, and in a day or two went round to aee who 
would subscribe an agreement to pay these sixpences; it was 
unanimously signed, and for a time weH executed. All the 
inhabitants of the city were ddighted with the cleanliness of 
the pavement that surrounded the market, it being a conn- 
nience to all, and this raised a general desire to have all the 
streets paved ; and made the people more willing to sobnit 
to a tax for that purpose. After some time I drew a bffl ftr 
paving the city,^ and brought it into the assembly. It wat 
Just before I went to England, in 1757, and did not pass t31 
I was gone, and then with an alteration in the mode of aasesB- 
ment, which I thought not for the better; but with an addi- 
tional provision for lighting as well as paving the streets, 
whjch was a great improvement. It was by a private person, 
the late Mr. John Clifton, giving a sample of the utility of 
lamps, by placing one at his door, that the people were iirst 
impressed with the idea of lighting all the city. The hdnor 
of this public benefit has also been ascribed to me, but it be- 
longs truly to that gentleman. I did but follow his example, 
and have only some merit to claim respecting the form of 
our lamps, as dilTering from the globe lamps we were at first 
supplied with from London. They were found inconvenient ra 
these respects: they admitted no air below; the smoke tho^ 
fore did not readily go out above, but circulated in die globes 
lodged on its inside, and soon obstructed the light they wers 
intended to afford; giving besides the daily trouble of wiping 
them dean: and an accidental stroke on one of them would 

; See Votes of tlie FtennsylTania issembly 


ihnolish it» and render it tetnlly useless. I tberoforB mtggetU 
ti the composing them of four flat panes, with a long fun- 
nd 9bwe to draw np the smoke, and crevices admitting air 
Mow to facilitate the ascent of the smoke; by this meana 
they were kept clean, and did not grow dark in a few hours» 
as Ae London lamps do, but continued bri^t till momingi 
and an accidental stroke would generally break but a single 
pane easQy repaired. I have sometimes wondered thait the 
liondoners did not, from the effect holes in the bottom of the 
•g^obe-iamps used at Yauxhall, have in keeping them clean» 
learn to haye such holes in then* street lamps. But these holes 
being made for another purpose, viz. to communicate flame 
■sore suddenly to the wick by a little flax hanging down 
through them, the other use of letting in air, seems not to 
kave been thought or: and therefore, after the lamps baTO 
been lit a few hours, the streets of London hre very poorly 

The mention of ttiese improvements puts me in mind of 
one I proposed, when in London, to Dr. Fothergill,^ who 
WUB among the best men I have known, and a great promo* 
ter of useful projects. I had observed that the streets, when 
A1J9 were never swept, and the liglit dost carried away; but 
it was suffered to accumulate till wet weather reduced it 
to nrad ; and then, after lying some days so deep on the 
puTement that there was no crossing but in paths kept dean 
by poor people with brooms, it was with great labor raked 
together and thrown up into carts open* above, the sides of 
which suffered some or ttie slush at every jolt on the pave- 
ment to shake out and fall; sometimes to the annoyance of 
foot passengers. The reason given for not sweeping the dusty 
ntreets was, that the dust would fly into the windows of shops 
sad houses. An accidental occurrence had instructed me how 
much sweeping might be done in a little time; I found at my 
door in Craven street, one morning, a poor woman sweeping 

▼ Fothergillf (John) F. R. S., an eminent physician^born in in2» at 
Cair end, in Yorkshire, of Quaker parents, died in IrSO. 

134 MEMUiaS ov 

my p«Teitient with a birch broom; she ai^eared Teryple 
and feeble, as just come out of a fit of sickness. I asked who 
employed her to sweep there; she said, «• Nobody; but I im 
poor and in distress* and I sweeps' before gentlefolkscs dooNr 
and hopes they will give me something*'* I bid her sweep the 
whole street clean^ and I would give her a shilling; this wis 
at nine o'clock; at noon she came for the shilling. From the 
slowness I saw at first in her working, I could scarce belief e 
that the work was done so soon, and sent my servant to ex« 
amine it, who reported that the whole street was swept per*, 
fectly clean, afid all the dust placed in the gutter which was 
in the middle; and the next rain washed it quite awajy so 
that the pavement and even the kennel were perfectly ciesiu 
I then judged that if that feeble woman could sweep such i 
street in three hours, a strong active man might have done it 
in half the time. And here let me remark the convenience of 
having but one gutter in such a narrow street running down 
its middle, instead of two, one on each side near the footway* 
For where all the rain that falls on a street runs from the 
sides and meets |n the middle, it forms there a current 
strong enough to wash away all the mud it meets witli: bat 
when divided into two channels, it is often too weak to 
cleanse either, .and only makes the mud it finds moreflttidf 
so that the wheels of carriages, and feet of horses throw and 
dash it upon the foot pavement, (which is thereby rendered 
foul and slippery^) and sometimes splash it upon those who 
are walking. My piroposal communicated to the doctor, was 
as foUows : • 

'< For the more efik^tually cleaning and keeping clean the 
streets of London and Westminster, it is proposed, tliat the 
several watchmen be contracted with to have the dust swept 
up in dry seasons, and the mud raked up at other timeSf 
each in the several streets and lanes of his round: tbattbcj 
be furnished with brooms and other proper instruments for 
these purposes, to be kept at their respective stands^ ready 
to furnish the poor people they may employ in the service 


«<Tliat ia the dry sainmer.iDontbs tbe dust be all swept up 
mto heaps at proper distancesy before the shops and windows 
#r houses are usually opened ; when scavengers with close 
covered carts shall also carry it all away. 

^ That the mud, when raked up, be not left in heaps to be 
qiread abroad again by tbe wheels of carriages and tramp- 
ling of horses; but that tbe scavengers be provided with bo« 
dies of caitsy not placed high upon wheels, but low upon 
aliderSf with lattice bottoms, which being covered with straw, 
win retain the mud thrown into them, and permit the water 
to drain from it; whereby it will become much lighter, water 
makincf the greatest part of the weight. These bodies of 
carts to be placed at convenient distances, and the mud 
brought to them in wheelbarrows; they remaining where 
placed till tbe mud is drained, and then horses brought to 
draw them away." 

I have since bad doubts of the practicability of tbe latter 
part of this proposal, in all places, on account of tbe narrow- 
ness of some streets, and the difficulty of placing the draining 
sleds so as not to encumber too much the passage: but I am 
still of opinion that the former, requiring the dust to be swept 
up and carried away before the shops are open, is very prac- 
ticable in the summer, when tbe days are long: for in walk- 
ing through the Strand and Fleet street, one morning at seven 
o'clock, I observed there was not one shop open, though it was 
daylight «id the sun up above three hours: the inhabitants 
of Londos, chusing voluntarily to live much by candle-light, 
and sleep by sun-shine; and yet often complain, (a little ab- 
surdly) of the duty^ on candles, and the high price of tallow. 

Some may think these trifling matters, not worth minding 
or relating: but when they consider that though dust blown 
into the eyea of a single person, or into a single shop in a 
windy day, is but of small importance, yet the great number 
of tbe instances in a populous city, and its frequent repetition, 
gives it weight and consequence; perhaps they will not cen- 
sare very severely those who bestow some attention to affairs 
of this seemingly low nature. Human felicity is produced 

tS6 JUBSMim or 

wt 8o inaek trf girett pieces oC good fbrtam that wMm hi^ 
peOf M by Mtde adf aatages that occur every day. Tlns^ if 
you leacb a poor young man to alMve hiiBBelf» and keep Ui 
razor in order, you may contribute more to tlio happinemrf 
his life than in giriaif him a thousand guineas. This sum maj 
be soon spent, the regret oiriy rematning of having feoiisUf 
eonsumod it: but in the otiier case he escapes the treqiMt 
vexation of watting for barbers, and of their sometimes diiigr 
ftngen, oflbnsive breaths, and dull razors: he shaves wba 
most convenient to him, and envoys daily tkte pleassre sf iti 
bmn^ done with a good instrument. With these sentimesti I 
have hasm4ed tlie few preceding pages, hoping they najptt 
hfd hints which sosie time or other may be osefiil ts^a cHr 
I love, (having lived many years in it very happily) and por- 
haps to some of our towns in America* 

Having been some time employed by the posti-ma8te^8l- 
neral of America as his comptroller in regulating the serenl 
oftces, and bringing the oflBcers to account, I was upon Vb 
deati), in 175$ f appointed jointly with Mr. William Bih— 
.to succeed him; by a commission from the post-mastep^o- 
neral in England. The American office had hitherts sew 
paid any thing to that of Britain: we were to have 600i. a* 
year between us, if we could make that sum out of the prs- 
llts of the office. To do this a variety of improvements weio 
necessary; some of these were inevitably at Srst ea^Misive; 
so that in the first four years the office became above 900^ is 
debt to us. But it soon after began to repay us; and bebn 
I was displaoed by a freak of the ministers, (of wbicb I bImB 
speak hereafter), we had brought it to yield three Umifs tf 
much clear revenue to the crown as the post office of Iithnd. 
Since that imprudent transaction, they have received ftoDi it 
•— >not one farthing! 

The business of the post office occasioned my takisK > 
journey this year to N«w England, where t|ie college of €•»• 
bridge, of tiieir own motion, presented me with the degree of 
Master of Arts. Tale college in Connecticut bad before made 
me a similar compliment. Thus without studying in asy col- 

lige I cane to^partake of their honors. They were confer- 
red in conaideratlan of my improvements and diacoTeries ia 
the electric branch of Natural Philosophy. 

In 1754, war with France being again apprebended, a 
congress of commissioners from the different colonies wns^ 
by an order of the lords of trade^ to be assembled at Albany | 
there to confer with the chteb of the Six nations^ concerning 
the means of defending both their country and ours. Gover- 
nor Hamilton having received this order, acquainted tba 
bouse with it, requesting they would furnish proper presents 
far the Indians, to be given on this occasion; and naming the 
speaker (Mr. Norris) and myself, to join Mr. John Pena 
and Mr. Secretary Peters, as commissioners to act for Penn* 
qrlvanin. The house approved the nomination, and provided 
the goods for the presents, though they did not much like 
treating out of the province; and we met the other commts^ 
sioneni at Albany, about the middle of June. In our way 
thither 1 |»rojected and drew up, a plan for the union of all the 
colonies under one government, so far as might be necessary 
f(ir defence, and other important general purposes. As we 
passed through New .York, I had there shewn my project to 
Mn James Alexander and Mr. Kennedy, two gentlemen of 
great knowlege in public affairs, and being fortified by theif 
approbation, I ventured to lay it before the congress. It then 
appeared, that several of tlie commissioners had formed plane' 
of the same kind. A previous question was first taken^ 
whether an union should be established, which passed in the 
aflBraiative, unanimously. A committee was then appointed^ 
one member from each colony, to consider the several plaum 
and report. Mine happened to be preferred, and with a few 
amendments was accordingly reported. By this plan the ge- 
neral government was to be administered by a president ge- 
neral, appointed and supported by the crown; and a grand 
eouncit, to be chosen by the representatives of the people of 
the several colonies met in their re^pective ass^mbliea. Thd ' 
dAates upon it in congress went on daily bead in hand witt 

138 KEMOIKS or 

the Indian business. Many objections and llifficirities 
started, but at length thej were all oTercome, and tbiD plaii 
was unanimously agreed tu» and copies ordered to be trans- 
mitted to the board of trade and to tlie assemblies of the se- 
veral provinces. Its late was singular: the assemblies did not 
adopt it, as they all thought there was too much prerogaH^ 
in it; and in England it was judged to hsTe too much of the 
democratic; the board pf trade did not approve of it; near 
recommend it for the approbation of his majesty: bnt anoOer 
scheme was formed^ supposed to answer the same pnrpeee 
better, whereby the governors of the provinces, with some 
members of their respective councils, were to meet and order 
the raising of troops, building o( forts, &c. and to draw on 
the treasury of Great Britain for the expense, which was 
afterwards to be refunded by an act of parliament laying a 
tax on America. My plan with my reasons in support of itf 
is to be found among my political papers that were printed.^ 
' Being the winter following in Boston, I had mnch conversa- 
tion with governor Shirley upon both t)ie plans. Part of what 
passed between us on this occasion may also be seen among 
those papers. The different and contrai^ reasons of dislike to 
my plan, makes me suspect, that it was really the true me- 
dium, and I am still of opinion it would have been happy ibr 
both sides if it had been adopted. The colonies so united 
would have been suflSiciently strong to have defended then- 
selves: there would then have been no need of troops fkrom 
England, of course the subsequent pretext for taxing Ame- 
Tica; and the bloody contest it occasioned, would have been 
avoided^, but such; mistakes are not new: history is full of 
the errors of states and priml^es. 

''UMtk round the fa&bitable world, hovfev 
** Know their own goo4, or knowing it pursue T' 

Those who govern, having much business on their hands, 
do not generally JiHe to take the trouble of considering and 
carrying into execution new projects. The best public 

» See VoL IV. page 1, of this edition. 


mvcB are therefore seldom adopUdfromprtmgus tDiidam^ M 
fined bf theocearien* 

Tiie governor of Pennsylvania, in sending it down to the 
•88eaibl7» expressed his approbation of the plan « as appear- 
ing to liiin to be drawn op with great clearness and strength 
4if jndgmenity and therefore recommended it as well worthy 
their closest and most serious attention.^^ The hoase, however^ 
by the management of a certain member^ took it op when I 
happened to be absent* (which 1 thought not very fair,) and 
reprobated it without paying any attention to it at all, to my 
no sfsaU mortification. 

In niy journey to Boston this year, I met at New York 
with our new governor, Mr. Morris, just arrived there from 
England, with whom I had been before intimately acquainted. 
He hrought a commission to supersede Mr. Hamilton, wiio, 
tired with the dilutes his proprietary instructions subjected 
him to, bad resigned. Mr. Morris asked me if I thought he 
most expect as uncomfortable an administration. I said, 
^ N09 you may on the contrary have a very comfortable one, ^ 
if you will only take care not to enter into any dispute with 
the assembly:" << my dear friend," said he pleasantly, «< how 
can you advise my avoiding disputes? Tou know I love dis- 
puttog, it is one of my greatest pleasures; however, to shew 
the regard I have for your counsel, I promise you I will, if 
possible, avoid them." He had some reason for loving to dis- 
pute, bein^ eloquent, an acute sophister, and therefore gene- 
rally successful in argumentative conversation. He had been 
brought up to it from a boy, his father, as I have heard, ac- 
customing his children to dispute with one another for his 
diversion, while sitting at table after dinner; but I think the 
practke was not wise, for in the course of my observation, 
those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people, are gene- 
rally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory sometimes, 
but they never get gsod will, which would be of more use to 
them. We parted, he going to Philadelphia, and I to Boston. 
In returning I met at New York with the votes of the assem- 
bly of Pennsylvania, by which it appeared^ that notwithstand- 

log Us promiie tome, he and the house were already in U^ 
coDtenttoni and it was a continual battle between then, m 
long as he retained the government, i had my share of itf 
for ss soon as I got back to my seat in the assemUy» 1 wss 
pot on every committee for answering his speeches and 
nMBsagesy and by the committees always desii^ to make 
the draughts. Our answers as well as his messages, were 
•den tart, and sumetimes indecently a)>u8iTe: nd as he 
knew I wrote for the assembly, one might haTeima^acd 
tiiat when we met we could hardly avoid cutting throals. 
Bttt he was so good-natured a man, that no pe rson a l 
difference between him and me, was occasioned hj die 
contest, and we often dined together. One afternoon, in 
the height of this public quarrel, we met in the street; 
<< E^unklin," said he, ^ you must go home with me and 
spend the evening, I am to have some company that yon 
wiD like;'* and. taking me by the arm led me to his house* 
In gsy conversation over our wine, after supper, he t«rid us 
jokingly that he much admired tbe idea of Sancho Fanza, ! 
who, when it was proposed to give him a government, re- 
quested it might be a government of blacks; as then. If he 
could not agree with his pec^e, be mifcht sell them. One of 
lus friends, who sat next me, said, <« Franklin, why do you | 
Gpntimie to side with those damned Quakers ? had yon not bet* 
fer sell them? the proprietor would give you a good price.** | 
f* Thegovemor," said I, <• has not yet blacked them enoQgh.** 
—He indeed had labored hard to blacken the assembly in 
aU his messages, but they wiped off his coloring as fast as 
lie laid it on, and placed it in return thick upon his own face; 
so that finding he was likely to be negrojitd himsdf, he, as 
wdl as Mr. Hamilton, grew tired of the contest, and quitted 
the government 

These public quarrels were all at bottom owing to the pA^ 
prietaries, our hereditary governors ; Who when any expense 
Ifras to be incurred for the defence of their province, with in- 
credible meanness, instiructed their deputies to pass no act 
for levying the necessary tues, unless fheir vast estates were 

BEN JAMIK nt AHKIJir. 14 1 

111 the «aine act erpreasly exonerated | and fliejr had ereii 
liken tlie bonds of these depatie 8 to obsenre such instructions. 
The asseinblies for three years held out ai^inst this injustice^ 
tiioagh constrained to bend at last At length captain Dennjt 
ivlio was governor Morris's succeasorf ventured to disobey 
tiraae iustructions; bow that was brought about I shall shew 

But I am got forward too fast with my story: there are 
sCffl some transactions to be mentioned, that happened dur- 
ing the administration of governor Morris. 

War being in a manner commenced with France, the 
government of Massachusetts Bay projected an attack upon 
Crown Point, and sent Mr. Quinry to Pennsylvania, and 
Mr. Pownal, (afterwards governor Pownal,) to If ew. York 
to solicit assistance. As I was In the assembly, knew itstem* 
per, and was Mr. ' Quincy's countryman, he applied to mo 
formy Influence and assistance: I dictated his address to 
them, which was well received. They voted an aid of ten 
thouaand pounds, to be laid out in provisions. But the gover- 
nor rehsing his assent to their bill (which included this with 
other sums granted for the use of the crown) .unless a clause 
were inserted, exempting the proprietary estate from benring 
any part of the tax that would be necessary; the assembly 
thoiagli very desirous of making their grant to New England 
e<fecti*al, were at a loss how to accomplish it. Mr. Quincy 
labored hard witli the governor to obtain his assent, but he 
was obstinate. I then suggested a method of doing the busi- 
ness without the governor, by orders on the trustees of the 
loan oflire, which by law the assembly had the right of draw- 
ing. There was indeed little or no money at the time in the 
ofllce, and therefore I proposed that the orders should be pay- 
able in a year, and to bear an interest of five per cent.: with 
these orders I supposed the provisions might easily be pur- 
chased. The assembly vith very little hesitation adopted the 
proposal; the orders were immediately printed, and I was 
one ef the committee directed to sign- and dispose of them. 
The fund for paying them, was the interest of all the paper 

142 aaMotRs QV 

corrency then extant in the province upon loany together 
with the reveiiue arising from the excise, which being known 
to be more than sufficient, they obtained credit, and were not 
only taken in payment for the provisions, but many monied 
peopled wbo had cash lying by them, vested it in those orders, 
which they found advantageous, as they bore interest while 
npon band, and might on any occasion be used as money. So 
that they were eagerly all bought up, and in a few weeks 
none of them were to be seen. Thus this important affair 
was by my means completed. Mr. Quincy returned thanks 
to the assembly in a handsome memorial, went home highly 
pleased with the success of his embassy, and ever after bore 
for me the most cordial and affectionate friendship. 

The British government, not chosing to permit the union 
of the colonies, as proposed at Albany, and to trust that 
union with their defence, lest they sliould thereby grow too 
military, and feel their own strength; (suspicion and jealon* 
sies at this time being entertained of them;) sent over 
general Braddock with two regiments of regular English 
troops for that purpose. He landed at Alexandria in Yirginiaf 
and thence marched to Frederick-town in Maryland, where 
he halted for carriages. Our assembly apprehending from 
some information, that he had received violent prejudices 
against them as averse to the service, wished me to wait upon 
him, not as from them, but as post-master-general, under the 
guise of proposing to settle with him the mode of condorting 
with most celerity and certainty, the dispatches between him 
and the governors of the several provinces, with whom he 
most necessarily have continual correspondence ; and of which 
they proposed to pay the expense. My son accompanied me 
on this journey. We found the general at Frederick-tows, 
waiting impatiently for the return of those whom he had 
sent through the back parts of Maryland and Virginia to 
collect wagons. I staid with him several days, dined with 
him daily, and had full opportunities of removing his preju- 
dices, by tlie information of what the assembly, had before 
his arrival actually done, and were still willing to do^ to facl- 


Ittele bis operations. When I was about to depart^ the re- 
turns of wagons to be obtained were brought in, by which it 
appeared, that they amounted only to twenty-five, and not all 
of those were in serviceable condition. The general and all 
the officers were surprised, declared the expedition was ^eo 
at an end, being impossible; and exclaimed aganist the minis- 
ters for ignorantly sending them into a country destitute of 
the means of convoying their stores, baggage, &r. not less 
than one hundred and fiity wagons being necessary. I happen- 
ed to say, I thought it was a pity they had not been landed in 
Pennsylvania, as in that country almost every farmer had 
his wagon. The general eagerly laid hold of my words, and 
said, « Then you, sir, who are a man of interest there, can 
probably procure them for us; and I beg you will undertake 
it" I asked what terms were to be offered the owners of the 
wagons; and t was desired to put on paper the terms that ap- 
peared to roe necessary. This I did, and they were agreed to; 
and a commission and instructions accordingly prepared im- 
mediately. What those terms w/?re will appear in the adver- 
tisement I published soon as I arrived at Lancaster; which 
being, from the great and sudden effect it produced, a piece 
of some curiosity, I shall insert it at length, as follows: 


<« Lancasierf Jpril S6I/1, 1753. 
<< Whereas, one hundred and fifty wagons, with four 
horses to each wagon, and fifteen hundred saddle or pack- 
horses arc wanted for the service of his majesty's forces, 
now about to rendezvous at Wills's creek; and his excellency 
gt^neral Braddock having been pleased to empower me to 
contract for the hire of the same; I hereby give notice, that 
I shall attend for that pMrpose at Lancaster from this day to 
next Wednesday evening; and at York from next Thursday 
BHiming, till Friday evening; where I shall be ready to 
agree for wagons and teams, or single horses, on the foUow- 
uig terms: viz. 1. That there shall be paid for each wagon 
with four good horses and a driver^ fifteen shillings per diem. 


And for each able horse with a pack-saddle, or oQier i 
and fttrnitare, two shillings per diem. And for each 
horse without a saddle^ eighteen {lence per dieio. fi. That the 
pay commence from the time of their joining the forces at 
Wills^s creek (which must be on or before the 20th of Mmj 
ensuing), and that a reasonable allowance be paid orer and 
above for the time n.eeessar7 for their travelling to Wills's 
creek and home again after their discharge. S. Each wagon 
and team, and every saddle or pack-horse, is to he valued by 
indifferent persons cboRen between me and the owner; and 
in case of tlie loss of any ^agon, tiani, or other horse in the 
service, the price according to Huch valuation is to be allowed 
and paid. 4. Seven days' pay is to be advanced and paid in 
hand by me to the owner of each wagon and team, or liorse^ 
at the time of contracting, if required; and the remaindi r to 
be paid by general Braddock, or by the paymaster of the 
army, at the time of their discharge; or from time to time as 
it shall be demanded. 5. No drivers of wagons, or persons 
taking care of the hired horses, are on any account to be 
called upon to do the duty of soldiers, or be otherwise em- 
ployed than in conducting or taking care of their carriages 
or horses, 6. All oats, Indian corn, or other forage, that 
wagons or horse^i bring to the camp, more than is necessary 
for the subsistence of the horses, is. to be taken for the use 
of the army, and a reasonable price paid for the same.'* 

<<Note« — My son, William Franklin, is emiwwered to rn* 
ter into like contracts, with any person in Cumberland 
county. B. FRANKLIN." 

<< To the InhdbUanis of the Counties of Lancaster , Forkf and 

^FrIEITDS and Coi7NTRTMEir, 

<< BEING occasionally at the camp at Frederick, a few 
da]rs since, I found the general and officers extremely exas- 
perated on account of their not being supplied with horses 
and carriages, which had been expected finim this pmvijioe^ 

BBK^AMtH nUNKXIir. 145 

•8 most able to furnish them; bat throagh the dissentiona 
betw^n our governor an^ assembly, money had not been 
provided, nor any steps taken for that purpose. 

«« It vras pn^osed to send an armed force immediately into 
diese counties^ to seize as many of the best carriages and 
horses as should be wanted, and compel as many persona 
into the service, as would be necessary to drire and takf 
care of tliem. 

<< I apprehended that the progress of ^ British soldiers 
throiigb these c«iunties on such an occasion, (especially consi- 
dering the temper they are in, and their resentment against 
08,) would be attended with many and great inconveniencea 
to the inhabitants, and therefore more willingly took the trou- 
ble of trying first what might be done by fair and equitable 
means. The people of these hack counties have lately com* 
plained to the ass.embly that a sufficient currency was want* 
ing; yott have an opportunity of receiving and dividing 
among yon a Tery considerable sum; for ir the service of 
this expedition should continue (as it is more than probable 
it wUI) for 120 days, the hire of these wagons and horses 
will aipoont fo upwards of thirty thousand pounds; which 
will be paid yon in silver and gold of the king's money. 

^Thp service will be light and easy, for the army will 
scarce march above twelve miles per day, and the wagons 
and baggage-horses, as they carry those things that are ab- 
solutely necessary to the welfare of the army, must marcli 
with the army, and no faster; and are foi- the army's sake| 
always placed where they can be most secure, whether in a 
loarch or in ^ camp. 

<< If yon are really, as I believe you are, good and loya| 
sobjects to his majesty, you may now do a most acceptably 
service, ajid make it easy to yourselves ; for three .or four of 
such as cannot separately spare from the business of their 
plantations* a wagon and four horses and a driver* may do it 
together; one furnishing the wagon, another one or two 
horses, and another the driver, and divide the pay propor- 
tionably betw^aii jwi but if jou do p/ot this aervioe le^ 
V01.L U 

146 MEMOntS ot 

your king and country voluntarily , when sucb good pay and 
reasonable terms are offered to you, your loyalty will Vc 
strongly susp^cte^l : the king's business -must be done: so 
many brave troops, come so far for your defence, most not 
stand idle through your backwardness to do what may be 
reasonably ejiLpected from you; wagons and horses must be 
had, violent measures will probably be used; and you will be 
to seek for recompence where you can find it, and your case 
perhaps be little pitied or regarded. 

« I have no particular interest in this affair, as (except 
the satisfaction of endeavoring to do good) I shall have only 
my labor for my pains, if this method of obtaining the 
wagons and horses is not likely to succeed, I am obliged to 
send word to the general in fourteen days; and 1 sopposcy 
sir John St. Clair, the hussar, with a body of soldiers urill 
immediately enter the province for the purpose; which I 
shall be sorry to hear, because 1 am very sincerely and tmly 
** Your friend and well-wislier, 


I received of the general about eight hundred pounds, 
to be disbursed in advance money to the wagon owners, &c. 
but that sum being insujfirient, I advanced upwards of two 
hundred pounds more; and in two weeks, the one hundred 
and fifty wagons, with two hundred and fifty-nine carrying 
horses were on their march for the camp. The advertisement 
promised payment according to the valuation, in case any 
wagons or horses should be lost. The owners, however, al- 
leging they did not know general Braddock, or what depen- 
dence might be had on his promise, insisted on my bond ftur 
the performance; which I accordingly gave them. 

While 1 was at the camp, supping one evening with tbe 
officers of colonel Dunbar's regiment, he represented to me 
his concern for the subalterns, who, he said« were generally 
not in affluence, and could ill afford in this dear country, to 
lay in the stores that might be necessary in so long a march 
through a wilderness, where nothing was to be purchased. 


I commiserated their case, and resolved to endeavor procnr- 
ing them some relief. I said nothing however to him of my 
intention^ but wrote the next morning to the committee of as- 
seoibly, who had the disposition of some public money, warm- 
ly recommending the case of these oflSicers to their conside- 
ration^ and proposing that a present should be sent them of 
neoesaaries and refreshments. My son^ who had some expe- 
rience of a camp life» and of its wants, drew up a list for me, 
which I inclosed in my letter. The committee approved, and 
used such diligence, that, conducted by my son, the stores 
arrived at the camp as soon as the wagons. They consisted 
of twenty parcels, each containing — 
6 lb. Loaf Sugar 1 Glocester Cheese 

6 do. Muscovado do. 1 iicg containing SOlb. good Butter 
1 do. Green Tea £ doz. old Madeira Wine 

1 do. Bohea do. 2 gallons Jamaica Spirits 

6 do. Ground Coffee 1 bottle Flour of Mustard 

6 do. Chocolate S well-cured Hams 

} chest best white Biscuit i dozen dried Tongues 
i lb. Pepper 6 lb. Rice 

1 quart white Vinegar 6 lb. Raisins. 

These parcels, well packed, were placed on as many 
horses, each parcel, with the horse, being intended as a pre- 
senifor one ofih;er. They were very thankfully received, and 
the kindness acknowleged by letters to me from the colo- 
nels of both regiments, in the most grateful terms. The ge- 
neral too was highly satisfied with my conduct in procuring 
bim the wagons, &c. &., and readily paid my account of 
disborsements; thanking me repeatedly, and requesting my 
further assistance in sending provisions after him. I under- 
took this also, and was busily employed in it till we heard of 
his defeat; advancing for the service, of my own money, up- 
wards of one thousand pounds sterling; of which I sent him 
an account. It came to his hands, luckily for me, a few days 
before the battle, and he returned me immediately an order 
on the paymaster for the round sum of one thousand pounds, 
leaving the remainder to the next account. I consider this 

14S MdHoins or 

paymeiit as good lack ; haring never been able to obtain ttit 
ivmainder; of which more hereafter. 

This genrral wa8» t think, a brave man, and might ]m>ba- 
bly have made a figure as a good olRcer in some European 
war; but he had too much self-confidence, too high an opui^ 
ion of the validity of regular troops, and too mean an oM 
of both Americans and Indians. Greorge Croghan, our In- 
dian interpreter, jf)ined him on his march with one hundred 
of those people, who might have been of great Use to his ar- 
my as guides, scouts, Jcc., if he had treated them kindly: but 
lie alighted and neglected them, and they gradually left bla. 
In conversation with him one day, he was giving me boom 
account of his intended progress. « After taking fort Dn- 
^uesiie," said he, << I am to proceed to Niagara; and bar- 
ing taken that, to Frontenar, if the season will allow time, 
and I suppose it will; for Duqursne can hardly detain me 
above three or four days; and then I see nothing that can ob- 
•tract my march to Niagara.'' Having before revolved in my 
mind the long line his army must make in their march by a 
very narrow road, to be cut for them through the woods and 
bushes; and also what I had read of a former defeat of fiftrea 
bundred French, who invaded the Illinois country, I had 
conceived some doubts and some fears for the event of the 
campaign. But I ventured only to say, « to be sure, siTt if 
you arrive well before Duquesne, with the fine troops, so weH 
provided with artillery, the fort, though completely fortified, 
and assisted with a very strong garrison, can probably make 
but a short resistance. The only danger I apprehend of obstruc- 
tion to your march, is from the ambuscades of the IndianSf 
who by constant practice, are dextrous in laying and execat* 
ing them: and the slender line, near four miles long, which 
your army must make, may expose it to be attacked by sar- 
prise in its flanks, and to be cut like a thread into several 
pieces, which from tlieir distance cannot come up in time to 
support each other.'' He smiled at my ignorance, and replied, 
^* These savages may indeed be a formidable enemy to year 
raw American militia; but upon the king's regular and disci- 


jSneA troops, siff it is impossible tliey should make any im* 
presslon.*' 1 was conscious of an impropriety In my dispnt« 
iag with a military man in matters of his profession^ and 
said no more. The enemy, however, did not take the 
advantage of his army which I apprehended its long line 
of march exposed it to, but lei it advance without inlerrup* 
tioti till within nine miles of the place; and then when more 
m a body, (for it had just passed a river, where the front 
had halted till all were come over) and in a more open part 
of the woods than any it had passed, attacked its advanced 
guard by a heavy fire from behind trees and bushes; which 
Was the first intelligence the general had of an enemy's be- 
iag near him. This guard being disordered, the general har- 
ried the troopa up to their assistance, whiph was done in great 
Goofusion, through wagons, baggage, and cattle; and pre- 
sently the fire came upon their flank : the officers being on 
horseback, were more easily distinguished, picked out as 
marks, and fell Tery fast; and the soldiers were crowded to- 
gi9ther in a huddle, having or hearing no orders, and standi 
hig to be shot at till two4liii*d8 of tliem were killed; and tlien 
being seized with a panic the remainder fled with precipita- 
tion. The wagoners took each a horse out of his team and 
scampered; their example was immediately followed by 
others; so that all the wagons, provisions, artillery, and 
ttores were left to the enemy. The general being wounded 
was brought off* with difficulty; his secretary, Mr. Shirley, 
was killed by his side, and out of eighty-six officers sixty- 
three were killed or wounded ; and seven hundred and four- 
teen men killed of eleven hundred. Tliese eleven hundred 
bad been picked men from the whole army ; the rest had been 
left behind with colonel Dunbar, who was to follow with thd 
heavier part of the stores, provisions, and baggat^. The fly- 
ers not being pursued arrived at Dunbar's camp, and the 
panic they brought with them instantly seized him and 
all his people. And though he had now above one tbon- 
sand men, and the enemy who had beaten Braddock, did 
lot at most exceed four hundred Indians and French- to- 


getber^ instead of proceeding and endearoring to recorer 
some of the lost honor, he ordered all the stores, ammu- 
nition, &c., to be destroyed, that he might have more horses 
to assist his flight towards the settlements, and less 1am- 
ber to remove. He was there met with requests from the go- 
vernor of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, that he 
would post his troops on the frontiers, so as to afford some 
protection to the inhabitants; but he continued his hasty 
march through all the country, not thinking himself safe till 
be arrived at Philadelphia, wliere the inhabitants could pro- 
tect him. This whole transaction gave us Americans the first 
suspicion that our exalted ideas of the prowess of British re- 
gular troops had not been well founded. 

In their first march too, from their landing till they got 
beyond the settlements, they had plundered and stripped the 
inhabitants, totally ruining some poor families, besides insult- 
ing, abusing, and confining the people if they remonstrated. 
This was enough to put us out of conceit of such defenders, 
if we had really wanted any. How different was the conduct 
of our French friends in 1781, who during a march through 
the most Inhabited part of our country, from Rhode Island 
to Virginia, near seven hundred miles, occasioned not the 
smallest complaint, for the loss of a pig, a chicken, or even 
an apple! * 

Captain Orme, who was one of the general's alds-de-camp 
and being grievously wounded was brought off with him, and 
continued with him to his death, which happened in a few 
days, told me he was totally silent all the first day, and at 
ilight only said, ^^fTho would fuive tliouglU Uy^ That he was 
silent iigain the following day, saying only at last, *tJFe shall 
better know how to deal with them another tinu;^' and died 
in a few minutes after. 

The secretary's papers, with all the general's orders. In- 
structions, and correspondence falling into the enemy's hands, 
they selected and translated into French a number of the ar- 
ticles, which they printed to prove tlie hostile intentions of 
the British court before the declaration of wai^. Among 


these I saw some letters of the general to tlie ministry^ 
^leaking highly or the great service I had rendered the army^ 
and recommending me to their notice. I]|avid Hume, who was 
some years after secretary to lord Hertrordi when minister in 
France^ and afterwards to general Conway, when secretary 
of state, told me he had seen among the paperis in that office, 
letters from Braddock, highly recommending me* But the 
expedition having been unfortunate* my service, it seems, 
was not thought of much value, for those recommendations 
were never of any use to me. As to rewards from himself, I 
asked only one, which was, thkt he would give orders to his 
officers, not to enlist any more of our'bought servant8,and that 
he would discharge such as had been already enlisted. This 
he readily granted, and several were accordingly returned 
to their masters, on my application. Dunbar, when the com- 
mand devolved on him, was not so generous. He being at 
Philadelphia, on his retreat, or rather flight, I applied to him 
for the discbarge of the servants of three poor farmers of 
Lancaster county, that he had enlisted, reminding him of the 
late general's orders on that head. He promised me that 
if the masters would come to him at Trenton, where he 
should be in a few days on bis march to New York, he 
wooM there deliver their men to them. They accordingly 
were at the expense and trouble of going to Trenton, and 
there he refused to perform his promise, to their great loss 
and disaj^intment. 

As soon as the loss of the wagons and horses was gene- 
rally known, all the owners came upon me for the valuation 
which I had given bond to pay. Their demands gave me a 
great deal ortrouble: I acquainted them that the money was 
ready in the paymaster's hands, but the order for paying it 
most first be obtained from general Shirley, and that I had' 
applied for it j but he being at a distance, an answer could 
not soon be received, and they must have patience. All this 
however was not sufficient to satisfy, and some began to sue 
me: general Shirley, at length relieved me from this terri- 
ble situation, by appointing commissioners to examine tlie 


claiJnSf and ordering paymenU Tbey amounted to neir 
twenty thousand pounds* which to pay would have mined iMi 

Before we bad the news of this defeat, the two docton 
Bond came to me with a subscription paper for raiHing no- 
ney to defray the expense of a grand fire-work, which it via 
intended to exhibit at a rejoicing on receiving the news if 
our taking fort Duquesne. 1 looked grave, and said, « K 
would, 1 thought, be time enough to prepaid the rejoldiig 
when we knew we should have occasion to rejoice." The; 
seemed surprised tliat I did not immediately comply with 

their proposal. « Why tlie d ^1,** said one of them, '< yoa 

surely donH suppose that the fort will not be taken 2^ ^l 
don't know that it will not be taken; but 1 know that the 
events of war are subject to great uncertainty/' I gave then 
the reasons of my doubting: the subscription was Arofffif 
and the projector thereby missed the moitification tliey would 
have undergone if the fire-work had beeh prepared. Dr. BoiA 
on some other occasion afterwards, said that he did not lib 
Franklin'd forebodings. 

Governor Morris, who had continually worried the asBen- 
bly with message after message before the defeat of Bn'* 
dock, to beat them into the making of acto to raise moot? 
for the defence of the province, without taxijng among oth^ 
the proprietary estates, and had rejected all their bills te 
not having such an exempting clause, now redoubled bifl A 
tacks with more hope of success, the danger and neccso^ 
being greater. The assembly however continued finoi ^ 
lieving they had justice on their side; and tJiat it wo«ddhe 
giving up an essential right, il' they 6ufi*ered the governor to 
amend their money bills. In one of the last, indeed, which 
was for granting fifty thousand pounds, his proposed sQ^o^ 
*inent was only of a single word: the bill expressed, '' toit 
all estates real and personal were to be taxed; tliose of toe 
jnxiprietaries not excepted." His amendment was; (ornotr^ 
ofdy. A small, but very material alteration! Howcvicr, whe» 
the news of the disaster reached England, our friends theWi 
wiiom we bad taken care to furnish with all the usssaiij^ 

«nwel« to the governor's messages, raised a clamor againeit 
the proprietanes for their meanness and injustice in giving 
tteir governor such instructions; some going so far as to saj^ 
that kgr obstructing the defence of their province, they for« 
feited their right to it* They were intimidated hy this, sent 
•rdcrs to their receiver-general to add five thousand pounds 
tf tb; ir money to whatever sum might be given by the a8#^ 
seiDbly for such purpose. This being testified to the honsey 
was accepted ill lieu of their share of a general tax, and a new 
biii was formed witli an ^exempting clause, which passed ac* 
cordingly. By this act 1 was appointed one of the commission* 
fffs for di^osing of Uie money; sixty thousand pounds. I l^ad 
been active in modelling the bill, and procuring its passage; 
and bad at the same time drawn one for establishing and dis* 
cipIkiHig a voluntary militia; which I carried through the boose 
wtdHNit much difficulty, as care was taken in it to leave the 
^pMJcers at liberty. To promote the association necessary to 
form the militia, 1 wrote a dialogue* stating and answering 
all the objections I could think of to such a militia; which was 
printed, and bad, as I thought, great effect While the several 
dM^ianies in the city and country were forming, and leMrn^ 
kig tiieir exercise, the governor prevailed with me to take 
charge of our norths-western frontier, which was infested 
by the enemy, and provide for the defence of the inhabitants 
by raising troops, and building a line of forts. I undertook 
ISus military business, though I did not conceive myself well 
qualified for it. He gave me a commis?)ion with full powers^ 
and a parcel of blank commissions for officers, to be given 
to whom I thought fit I had but little difficulty in raisii^ 
men^ having soon five hundred and sixty under my command. 
M7 son, who had in the preceding war been an officer in the 
amy raised against Canada, was my aid-de*camp, and of 
great nse to me. The Indians had burned Gnadenhutten, a 

* Tbia dialogue and the militia act, were published in the Gentleman's 
3f agaziae for Fdiruary and March, 1756. 

154 UKMOIRS ov 

▼illage settled by the Moravians, and massacred the inhaU' 
tants; but the place was thought a good situation for one of 
the forts. In order to aiai*ch thitlier, I assembled the compi« 
Dies at*Bethlehein» thr chief establishment of those people;! 
was surprised to find it in so good a posture of defence: the 
destruction of Gnadenhutten had made them apprehend dai- 
ger. The principal buildings were defended by a stockade; they 
bad purchased a quantity of arms and ammunition from Nev 
Tork^ and had even placed quantities of small paving stDiics 
between the windows of their high stone bouses* for their w- 
men to throw them down upon the heads of any Indians that 
should attempt to force into tliem. The armed brethren too 
kept watchf and relieved each other on guard as methodicallj 
as in any garrison town. |n conversation with the bisboj^ 
Spangenberg, I mentioned my surprise | for knowing tbej 
had obtained an act of parliament exempting them from in- 
litary duties in the coloniesy I had supposed they were cob- 
scientiously scrupulous of bearing arms. He answered DCf 
^ That it was. not one of their establi^^hed principles; bot 
that at the time of their obtaining that act it was thoogiitto 
be a principle with many of their people. On this occasioBy 
however, they to their surprise, found it adopted by bnt t 
few.'* It seems they were either, deceived in themselves, of 
deceived the parliament: but common sense aided by present 
danger will sometimes be too strong for whimsical opinioiis* 
It was the beginning of January when we set oat npoB 
this business of buUding forts; I sent one detachment tovarib 
the Minisink, with instructions to erect one for the securitj 
of that upper part of the country; and another to the lower 
part with similar instructions: and I concluded to go mjseV 
with the rest of my force to Gnadenhutten, where a fort was 
thought more immediately necessary. The Moravians pi^ 
cured me five wagons for our tools, stores, baggage, te.J«» 
before we left Bethlehem, eleven farmers, who bad beendnW* 
from their plantations by the Indians, came to roe reqntft* 
ing a supply of fire-arms, that they might go back and brioj 
off their cattle. I gave them each a gun with suitable 8D«»"- ' 


BitiDii. We bad not inarched many miles before it began to 
Min^ and it continued raining all day; there were no habita*f 
tkms on the road to shelter us^ till we arrived near night at 
tbe bouse of a German* where^ and in his barn, we wore all 
buddkd together as wet as water could make us. It was well 
we were not attacked in our march, for our arms were of the 
most ordinary sort^ and our men could not keep the locks of 
their guns dry. The Indians are dextrous in contrivances 
tar that purpose, which we had not. They met that day the 
eleven poor farmers abovementioned, and killed ten of them; 
the one that escaped informed us, tliat his, and his.compan* 
ions' guns would not go off, tlie priming being wet with the 
rain* Tbe next day bein^ fair we continued our march, and 
arriTed at the desolate Gnadenbutten; there was a mill near, 
roimd which were left several pine boards, with which we 
soon hatted ourselves; an operation the more necessary at 
that Inclement season, as we had no tents. Our first work was 
to bery more effectually tbe dead we found there, who had 
been half interred by the country people; the next morning 
oar foK was planned and marked out, the circumference 
measuring four hundred and fifty-five feet, which would re- 
quire as many palisades to be made, one with another of a 
foot diameter each. Our axes, of which we had seventy^ 
were Immediately set to work, to cut down trees; and our 
men being dextrous in the use of them, great dispatch was 
made. Seeing the trees fall so fast, I had the curiosity to 
look at my watch when two men began to cut at a pine; in 
six minutes they had it upcui the ground, and I found it of 
fourteen inches diameter: each pine made three palisades of 
eighteen feet long, pointed at one end. While these were pre- 
paring, our other men dug a trench all round of three feet 
deq>, in which tiie palisades wei*e to be planted ; and the bo- 
dies being taken off our wagons, and the fore and bind 
wlieels separated by taking out the pin wliich united tbe two 
parts of tbe perch, we Iiad ten carriapjes witii two horses 
eacb, to bring the palisades from tlie woods to the spot When 
* they were set op, our carpenters built a platform of boards 

15§ SffEMOlRS OF 

all round within, aboat six feet high, for the men to stand oo 
when to fire through the loop-holes. We had one swivd giniy 
irfaich we mounted on one of the angles, and fired it as soon 
As fixed, to let the Indians know if any ^ere within bearingy 
that we had such pieces ; and thus our fort (if that name may 
be giTen to so miserable a stockade) was finished in a week, 
though it rained so hard every other day that the men coaM 
not well work. 

This gave me occasion to observe, that when men are en* 
ployed they are best contented; for on the days they worked 
they were good-natured and cheerful: and with the consrious* 
ness of having done a good day's work, they spent the even- 
ing jollily; but on our idle days, they were mutinous and 
quarrekome, finding fault with the pork, the bread, &c., and 
were continually in bad humor; which put me in mind of a 
sea captain, whose rule It was to keep his men constantly at 
'Work; and when his mate once told him that they had done 
every thing, and there was nothing farther to employ them 
about; « 0,'' said he, <« nuike them scour the anchor.*^ 

This kind of fort, however contemptible, is a sufkient 
defence against Indians who had no cannon. Finding* oar- 
ielves now posted securely, and having a place to retreat ts 
on occasion, we ventured out in parties to scour the adjacent 
eountry. We met with no Indians, but we*f6und the places 
im the neighboring bills where they had lain to watch oor 
proceedings. There was an art in their contrivance of these 
places, that seems worth mentioning. It being winter, a fire 
was necessary for them : but a common fire on the surface of 
the ground would by its light have discovered their position 
at a distance: they had therefore dug holes in tiie ground 
about three feet diameter, and somewhat deeper; we found 
where they had with their hatchets cut ofi* the charcoal firofl 
the sides of burnt logs lying in the woods. With these coals 
they had made small fires in the bottom of the boles, and we 
observed among the weeds and grass the prints of their bo- 
dies, made by their lying all round with their legs hanging 
down in the hole9 to keep their feet warm ; which with then * 

is m essential point ThU kind of fire so managed could not 
diseover tbem eitber by its ligbty flame^ sparks^ or even 
moke: it appeared that the number was not greats and it 
seens they saw we were too many to be attacked by them 
with prospect of advantage. 

We had (ifr our chaplain a zealous Presbyterian minister^ 
Mr. Beatty* who complained to me that the men did not ge^ 
■erally attend his prayers and exhortations. When they en- 
lifted they were promiiiedy besides pay and provisions* a gill 
of nun a day, which was punctually served out to them, half 
m the morning, and the other half in the evening; and I ob- 
served they were punctual in attending to receive it: upon 
vhich I said to Mr. Beatty* << it is perhq»s below the dignity 
of year profes 4on to act as steward of the rum ; but if you 
wero to distribute it out only just after prayers, you would 
have them all about yoo.^' He liked the tliought, undertook 
Am task) and with the help of a few hands to measure out 
Ibeliqaory executed it to satisfaction; and never were pray- 
erB more generally and more punctually attended. So that I 
thiok this method preferable to the punishment inflicted by 
some mifitary laws for non-attendance on divine service. 

I bad hardly finished this business, and got my fort welt 
stored with provisions, when I received a letter from the go- 
Tomor, acquainting me that he had called the assembly, and 
wished my attendance there, if the posture of affairs on the 
froitifrs was such that my remaining there was no longer 
necessary. My friends too of the assembly pressing me by 
tiieir letters to be, if possible, at the meeting; and my tliree 
intended forts being now completed, and the inhabitants con- 
tented to remain on their farms under that protection, I re- 
M^red to return; the more willingly, as a New England offi- 
cer, colonel Clapham, esjierienced in Indian war, being on a 
^ to our establishment, consented to accept the command. I 
save him n f^^miftissbn, and parading tiie garrison, had it 
vead before them ; and introduced him to them as an officer^ 
idio from his skill in military afiairs, was much more fit to 
coamand them than myself; and giving them a little exhor- 


tatioiiy took iny leave/ I was escorted as Tar as Bethlehenu 
where I rested a few days to recover from the fatigue I hail 
undergone. The first night lying in a good bed, I could hardly 
sleep, it was so different from my hard lodging on the iSoor of 
a hut at Gnadenhutten, with only a blanket or two. While at 
Bettilehemy I inquired a little into the practices of the Mora- 
Avians; some of them had accompanied me, and all were veiy 
kind to me. 1 found they worked for a common stock, eat 
at common tables, and slept in common donnitoriesy great 
numbers togetiier. In the dormitories I observed loop-holes 
at certain distances all along just under the ceiling, which I 
thought judiciously placed for change of air. I went to their 
churchy where I was entertained with good music, the orgaA 
being accompanied with violins, hautboys, flutes, clartnetsy 
&c. I understood their sermons were not usually preached to 
mixed congregaticms of men, women, and children, as is oar 
common practice; but that they assembled sometimt*s the mar- 
ried men, at other times their wives, then the young men, 
the young women, and the little children; each division by 
itself. The sermon I heard was to tlie latter, who came ia 
and were placed in rows on bencheH, the boys under the con* 
Hduct of a young man their tutor; and the girls conducted by 
a young woman. The discourse seemed well adapted to thmr 
capacities, and was delivered in a pleasing, familiar mannert 
coaxing them as it were to be good. They behaved very or- 
derly, but looked pale and unliealthy, which made me suspect 
they were kept too much within doors, or not allowed auflU 
cient exercise. I inquired concerning the Moravian marria^ 
ges, whetlier the rei)ort was true that they were by lot; I 
was told that lots were used only in particular cases: that 
generally when a young man found himself disposed to marry 
he informed the elders of his class, who consulted the elder 
ladies that.governed the young women. As these elders of 
the different sexes were well acquainted with trie tenspsrs and 
dispositions of their respective pupils, they could best judge 
what matches were suitable, and their judgments were ge* 
nerally acquiesced in. But if, for example, it shoidd bap* 


yen that two or three young women were found to be 
equally prpper (or the yoiin.^^ iiiauy the lot was then rec urred 
to* 1 objected, it' the matches are not made by the niutuiil 
choice of the parties, some of them may chance to be very 
unhappy. « And so ihry may/* answered my informer, «« if 
you let tiie parties chuse for themselves.'* Wiiich indeed I 
could not deny. 

Being returned to Philadelphia, I found the association 
went on with great success, tlie inhabitants that were not 
quakersy having pretty generally come into it, formed them- 
selves into companies, and chose tlieir captains, lieutenants, 
and ensigns, according to tiie new law. Dr. Bond vistted me 
and gave me an acc*>unt of tiie pains he had taken to spread 
a general good liking to the law, and ascribed much to those 
endeavors. 1 had the vanity to ascribe all to my dialogue; 
however, not knowing but that he might be in the right, I let 
him enjoy his opinion; which 1 take to be generally the best 
way in such casts. The officers meeting, chose me to be colo- 
nel of the regiment; which I this time accepted. I forget how 
many companies we had, but we paraded about twelve hun- 
dred well-looking men, with a company of artillery, who had 
been furnished with six brass field-piec^es, which they had be- 
come so expert in the use of, as to fire twelve times in a mi- 
nute. The first time I reviewed my regiment, they accompa- 
nied me to my house, and would salute me with some rounds 
fired before my door, which shook down, and broke several 
glasses of my electrical apparatus. And my new honor 
proved not much less brittle; for all our commissions were 
soon after broken, by a repeal of the law in England. 

During, this short time of my colonelship, being about to 
set out on a journey to Virginia, the officers of my regiment, 
took it into their heads that it would be proper for them to 
escort me out of town, as far as the Lower-ferry; just as I 
was getting on horseback they came to my door, between 
thirty and forty, mounted, and all in tneir uniforms. I had 
not been previously acquainted witli their project, or I should 
have preTcnted it, being n«aturally averse to the assuming of 

160 MfiMOKS QV 

State on any occasion; and I was a good deal chagrined it 
their appearance^ as I could not avoid their accompanjiq; 
me. What made it worse wasy that as soon as we began to 
move, they drew their swords and rode with them naked ill 
the way. Somebody wrote an account of this to the proprie^ 
tor, and it gave him great offence. No such honor bad beet 
paid him, when in the province; nor to any of hisgorw- 
nors; and he said it was only prefer to princes of tbe blood 
royal; which may be true for aught I know, who was» and 
stilt am ignorant of tlie etiquette in surb cases. This v&j 
affair^ however^ greatly increased his rancor against De, 
wliich was before considerable on account of my conduct in 
the assembiy, respecting the exemptioi.- of bis estate fron 
taxation, which I had always opposed very warmly; and Bfli 
without severe reflections on the meanness and injaatice ia 
contending for it. He accused me to the ministry^ aabdq; 
the great obstacle to the king's semce: preventing bjaf 
influence in tbe house, the proper fonn of the bills for mnag 
money; and he instanced the parade with my oflkera* as a 
proof of my having an intention to take the governmeat d 
the province out of his hands by force. He also applied to 
sir Everard Faukener, the post-master-general, tn depriti 
me of my office; but it had no other effect than toprocari 
from sir Everard a gentle admonition. 

Notwithstanding the continual wrangle between tbegofe^ 
nor and the house, in which I as a member had so largo a 
share, there still subsisted a civil intercourse between tM 
gentleoMin and myself, and we never had any personal dUffer* 
ence. I have sometimes since thought, that his little or nori' 
sentment against me for the answers it was known I i^ 
up to his messages, might be the effect of pi-ofeaskmal baUt 
and that being bred a lawyer, he might consider uabotb ii 
merely advocates for contending clients in a su^t; he lor Ik* 
prc^rietaries, and I^for the assembly: he would tberefoi* 
sometimes call in a friendly way to advise wifli me on diii' 
cult points; and sometimes, though not often, take my adrie^ 
Wo acted in concert to supply Braddock's army with pw^' 

BEN JAiriN nUl^KXIK. 161 

ahfiS) and when tbe shocking news arrived of his defeat, flio 
governor sent in haste for niff to consult with him tm nea* 
sores for preventing the destrtion of the back counties. I 
itrgct now the advice I gave» but I think it was that Dunbar 
shonid be written to and prevailed with, if possible, to post 
Us troops on the frontiers for their protection, until by rein- 
forcements from. the colonies^ he mig^t be able to proceed in 
the expedition : and after my return from the frontier, be , 
would have had ne undertake the conduct of. sncb an expe- 
dition with provincial troops^ for the reduction of ibrt Du- 
quesne; (Dunbar and his men being otherwise employed |) 
sad be proposed to commission me as general. I had not so 
good an opinion of my military abilities as he proflrased to 
have, and I believe his professions must have exceeded his 
res] sentiments: but probably he might tiiink that my popo* 
lirity would facilitats the business with the men, and influ- 
ence in the ai»efflbiy the grant of money to pay for it; and 
that perhaps without taxiing the proprietary. Finding me not 
so iorwsnl to engage as he expected, the project w^ di'opt; 
and he soon after left the goveniment, being superseded by 
caplain Denny. 

Before I proceed in relating the part I had in pnUie af- 
fairs under titis new govemor^s administration, it may not 
be amiss to give here some account jof the rise and progress 
of my philosophical reputation. 

In 1746, being at Boston, I met there with a Dn Spenc^ 
who was lately arrived from Srotlnnd^and sliewed me some 
dectric experiments. They were imperfectly performed, as 
he iras not very expert; but being on a subject quite new to 
«e, they equally surprised and pleased me. Soon after my 
return to Philadelphia, our library company received from 
Mr. PHer CoIIinsonvF. R. 8. of London, a present of a glasa 
(■be, with some account of the use of it In making such expo- 
timents. I eagerly seized the opportunity of repeating what 
I had seen at Boston ; and by much practice acquired great 
KadimwB in perrorming those also which we liad an account 

Vol. I. Y 


of from England, aclding a number of new ones. I my ndeil 
practice, for my house was continually full for some tiflMf , 
with persons who came to see theue new wonders. Todtviik 
a little this incunifbrance among my friends, I cauned a num* 
ber of similar tubes' to be blown in our glass-house, with wUdi 
they furnialieil themselves, so that we had at length seTerd 
performers. Among these the principal was Mr. Kinnenlf 
an ingenious neighbor, who being out of business, I encos- 
raged to undrrtake showing the experiments for money, ftri 
.drew up lor him two lectures, in which the experiments were 
ranged in such oriler, and accompanied with explanations in 
such method, as that the foregoing should assist in compit- 
bending the following. He procured an elegant apparatus for 
the purpose, in which all I he little machines that 1 had roogUj 
.made for myself, wi*re neatly formed by instrument makon. 
.His lectures were well attended, and gave great satisfaction; 
and after some time he went through the colonies exhibfthis 
them in every capital town, and picked up sorn^ money, h 
the West India Islands indeed, it was with difficulty thees- 
periments could be made from the general moisture of the air. 
Obliged as we were to Mr. Coliinson, for the present of 
the tube &c., I thougiit it right he should be informed of onr 
success in using it, and wnrte him several letters containing 
accounts of our experimenthJ Hf got them read intheBoyii 
Society, where they were not at first thought worth so nwcfc 
notice as to be printed in their transactions. One paper which 
I wrote for Mr. Kinn^rsly, on the sameness of lightning with 
electricity, I sent to Mr. Mitchel, an acquaintance of mia^ 
and one of the members also of that society | who wrote n^ 
word th^t it had been n^ad, but was laughed at by the con- 
noisseurs. The papers however being shewn to Dr. Fother- 
gill, he thought them of too much value to be stilled^ aad 
advised the printing of them. Mr. Coliinson then gave th«B 
to Cave for publication, in his OeiMemanU Mugaximf ^ 

» See Letters and Papers on Philosophical Subjects. Vol. m. of thisc*' 
tion, page I. 


lie chose to print them separately in a pamphlet^ and Dr. 
FolhergiU wrote tlip preface. Cave it seems judged rightly 
for his profession^ for by tlie additions that arrived after* 
vsrdsy tliey swelled to a quarto volume; which has bad five 
cditioiiSy and cost him nothing for copy-money. 

It was however some time before those papers were much 
taken notice of in England. A (*opy of tliera happening to 
Idl into the hands of the count de BuflCon, (a philosopher de-» 
servedly of great reputation in France, and indeed all over 
£iir<^>ey) he prevailed with monsieur Dohourg to translate 
theoi into French ; and thry were printed at Paris, The pub- 
lication offended the Abbe Ntdlrt» preceptor in Naturd Phi« 
loBophy to the royal family* and an able experimenter, who 
had formed and published a theory of electricity, which then 
had the general vogue. He could not at first believe that such 
a work came from Amerira, and said it must have been fabri- 
"Cated by his enemies at Paris, to oppose his system. After- 
wardsy having been assured that there really existed such a 
person as Franklin at Philadelphia, (which he had doubtedy) 
be wrote and publishf^d a voluaie of letters, chiefly addressed 
to me* defending his theory, and denying the verity of my 
experioients, and of the positions deduced from them. I once 
pnrpojied answering the Abh^, and actually began the an* 
swer; bnt on consideration that my writings contained a de- 
scription of experiments, which any one might repeat and 
yetifjt and if not to be verified could not be defended; or of 
observations offered as conjectures^ atid not'ilelivered dogmati- 
cally, therefore not laying me under any obligation to defend 
ihem;an<l reflecting that a dispute between two persons writ- 
ten in different languages might be lengthened greatly by mis- 
translations, and thence misconceptions of another's meaiiingy 
Biach of one of the Ahh^*s letters being founded on an error 
in the translation $ I conclurled to let my papers shift for them- 
selves; believing it was better to spend what time I could spare 
from public business in 'tiakinj? new experiments, than in dis- 
puting about those already maile, I t'lerefore naver answered 
Bioiisieiir I^oUet j and the event gave me no cause to repent 

1()4 M£MOittJ» uir 

my siience; Tor my friend reoimipor Le Roy^ of the royd 
acadeny of acie nces, took up m; cause and refuted bim: wf 
book was translated into the Italian^ Grerman, sind Litii* 
hilguagesf and the doctrine it contained was hy degrees ge» 
nerally adopted by the philosophers of Europe^ in prvft rrics 
to that of the Abl6; so that he lived to see himseif tlie last 
' of bis sect; except monsieur B of Parts, his tUw mi 

immediate disciple. 

What gave my book the more sudden and f^eneral celeM* 
ty» was tlie success of one of its proposed exp^rimentSf nado 
by messieurs Dalibard and Delar» at Marly ; for draviif 
Ugbtninfi; from the clouds. This engaged the public attentioii 
•very where. Monsieur Delor who had an apparatus for ex- 
perimental philosophy, and lectured in that branch of srirnrN 
undertook to repeat, what he called the Pkiladelphia exptfU 
menU; and after they were performed before the kin^ «i4 
Goart, all the curious of Paris tocked to see them. I wiH not 
swell this narrative with an account of that capital expert* 
meat, nor of the infinite pleasure I received in the sticressof 
a similar one I made soon after with a kite at Philadelpbiif 
as botfa are to be found in the histories of electrbity. Dr. 
Wright an English physician, when at Paris, wmte to s 
, friend who was of the royal society, an account of the high 
esteem my experiments were in among the learned abniad, 
and of tlieir wonder that my writings had been so little no- 
ticed in England. The society on this resumed the conside* 
ration of the letters that had been read to them; and the ee* 
lebrated Dr. Watson drew up a summary account of tiieiDt 
and of all I had afterwards sent to England on the subject; 
which he accompanied with some praise of the writer. This 
summary was then printed in their transactions: and soni 
members of tiie society in London, particularly the vei7 1** 
genious Mr. Canton, having verified the experiment of pro* 
curing lightning from the clouds by a pointed rod, and ^* 
quainted them with tlie success ; titey soon made me more than 
amends for the sliglit with which they had before treated lai* 
Without my having made any application for that IM^' 

fbty chose me arinembtfr; anc) Toted tliat I should be excused 
the customat^ payments, wkich would have amounted to. 
twenty-five gumeas; and ever since have given me tlieir 
transactions gratis«* They abo presented me witii the gold 
medal of sir Godfrey Copley, for the year 175$, the deli- 
very of which was aorcrmpanied by a very handsome speech 
of the president) lord Macelesfield, wherein I was highly 

* Dr. Franklin gives a further account of his election, in the following 
extract of a letter to his son governor Franklin, 

iMuion, nee. 1% Iter. 

** We bave had an uglj affair at the Royal society Utelj. One Dace0t% 
a Jew, who, aa our clerk, was entrusted with collecting our monies, baf 
been so unfaithful as Or^embezzle near thirteen hundred pounds in four 
years. Being one of the council this year as well as the last, \ have been 
employed ail the last week in attending the inquiry into and unravelling 
Ui aceoimtA, is older to coue at a fUU knowledge of his fiends. His se- 
omitlBt are bound in one thousand pounds to the society, which they 
will pay, but we are like to lose the rest He had this year received 
twenty-six admission payments of twenty-dve guineas each, which he did 
not bring to account. 

While attending this affair, T had an opportunity of looking over the 
old cooDcil books and joumab of the society, and having a curiosity to 
see how 1 came in> (of which 1 had never been iiftformed,) I lopked back 
for the minutes relating to it. You must know it is not usual to admit 
persons that have not requested to be admitted; and a recommendatoiy 
certificate in favor of the candidate, signed, by at least three of the mem- 
bers, is by our rale to be presented to the society, expressing that be is 
demoua of that honor, and is so and so qualified. As I had never 
asked or expected the honor, i was, as I said before, cui ioua to sea 
how the business was managed. I found that the certificate, worde4 
very advantageously for me, was signed by lord Macclesfield, then 
president, lord Parker, and lord Willoughby, that the election was by 
ammanimous vote; and the honor being voluntarily conferred by the 
society unsolicited by me, it was thought wrong to demand or receive 
lbs usual feea or composition; so that my name waa entered on the list 
with a vote of council, that I va» not to pajf any thing, .AjmI accord* 
ingly nothing has ever been demanded of me Those who are ad- 
mitted in the common way, pay five guineas admission fees, and two 
goiaeas and a half yearly contribution, or twenty-five guineas down« 
A Ueu of it In my caae^ a substantial f^ror aceompanied the honor. 

166 ausifoiBs ov 

Ottr new governor, captain Denny, brought over for on 
.the befon mentioned oieiiai IVom the Rtiyal socit-ty, which hi 
presented to nie at an cntertainni' nt given him bj the city. 
He acrompanieil it with very p<ilite expreasious of his estoea 
for me, having as he said been hmg ac quainted with my cha> 
racter. After dinner when the company as was customaiy at 
that time, were engaged in drinking, he took me aside into 
another room, and acquainti'd me that he had been advisdd 
by his friends in England to cultivate a friendship with me, 
as one who was capable of giving hiui the best advice, aadef 
contributing most t ffrctuaily to the making his administra- 
tion easy. That lie tlierelure desirt*d of all things to bare a 
good understanding with me, and he begged me to be assaid 
of his readiness on ail occasions to render me every aenioi 
that might be in his power. He said much to me also of thepra- 
prietoi*s' good dispovsition towards the province, and of thead- 
vantage it would lie to us all, and to me in particular, if theo|h 
position tliat had been so long continued to his measures tias 
dropt, and harmony rt^stored between him and the peo]ile;ia 
effecting which it was thought no one could be more servicea* 
ble than myself; and I might depend on adequate ackoov- 
legments and recompenses, &c. The drinkers finding we 
did not return immediately to the table, sent us a decanterrf 
Madeira, which the govtrnor made liberal use of, and io 
proportion became more profuse of iiis soliiitations and pro- 
mises. My answers were to this purpose ; that my circum- 
stances, thanks to God, were such as to make proprietaij 
favors unnecessary to me; and that being a member of th 
assembly I could not possibly accept of any; tliat however I 
had no personal enmity to the proprietary, and that whenever 
the public measures he propost^d, should appear to be fortke 
good of the people^ no one would espouse and forward thaa 
more zealously than myself; my past opposition had bean 
founded tn this, that the measures which having been urged 
were evidently intended to serve the proprietary interest 
with great prejudice to tliat of tlje people. That I was mocb 
obliged to htm (the governor) for his profession of regard 

to me, and that he might rely on every thing in my power to 
render his administration as easy to him as possible^ hoping, 
at tfae same time that he had not brought with him the same 
unfortunate instructions liis predecessors had been hampered 
with. On this he did not then explain himselU but when he af* 
terwarda came to do business with the assembly, they appear<- 
ed again, the di^putts were i^enewed, and I was as active as 
ever in the opposition, being the penman, first of the request 
to have a communicHtion of the instructions, and then of the 
remarks upon them, which may be found in the Votes of the 
Times, an,d in the Histokical Rbvik^^ 1 afterwards pub" 
Vnhed; but between us personally no enmity arose, we were 
often together; he was a man of lettera, had seen much of 
4ie world, and was entcrta ning and pleasing in conversa* 
6on« He gave me information that my old friend Ralph, was 
atitt alive, tfaat he was esteemed one of the best political wri- 
ters in £ngland; had been employed in the dispute between 
prince Frederick, and the king, and had obtained a pension 
of three hundred pounds a-jear; that his reputation was in- 
deed small as a po^t, Fope having damned his poetry in the 
Donciad; but his prose was thought as good as any man's. 

The assembly finally finding the proprietary obstinately per* 
Bisted in shai^klng the deputies with instructions, inconsistent 
ntttonly with the priviIei;esof the people, butwith tlie service ci 
the crown, resolved to petition the king against them, and ap- 
pointed me their agent to go over to England, to present 
and snpport the petition. The house had sent up a bill to the 
gevemor, granting a sum of sixty thousand pounds for the 
king's use, (ten thousand pounds of which was subjected to 
ttie orders of the then g^erai, lord Loudon,) which the 
governor^ in compliance witli his instructions absolutely re- 
fkised to pas8« I had agreed with captain Morris, of the 
jacket at New York, for my passage, and my stores were 
pot on board; when lord JLoudon, arrived at Philadelpliia^ 
apressly as he told me, to endeavor an accommodation be- 

• See Vol. n. of this edition. 

168 MEMOnS 07 

tween the goTernor mid asaeroUyf thtt his najfsty'l » 
vice might not i»e obstnirted by their dissentiotis. Afoonl- 
tngly he denired the goTprnor and myself to meet bin^ tkit 
lie might hear what was to be said oti'both sides. We od 
and diactissed the buaHit^ss: in behalf of the assemblf, I 
«i^;ed the various arguments that may be found in the piAlic 
papers of that time, which were of my writing, and an 
printed with the minutes of the assembly; and the governor 
pleaded his instructions, the bond he had given to ohsem 
them, and his ruin if he disobeyed; yet seemed not uowil% 
to hazard himself if lord Loudon would advise it. Tliis ik 
lordship did not chuse to do, though I once thought 1 hii 
nearly prevailed with him to do it; but finally he ntkr 
chose to ui^e the compliance of the assembly ; and he iii- 
treated me to use my endeavors with them for that porpos^ 
declaring ttiat he would spare none of the king's troo|» for 
the defence of our frontiers, and that if we did not conttsae to 
provide for that defence ourselves, they must remain espoiei 
to ttie enemy. I acquainted tlie b<>use with what had pafled» 
and presenting them with a set of resolutions I had drava 
up, dfirlaring our rights, that we did not relinquish oar dain 
to those Tights, but only suspended the exercise of them on 
this occasion, thmugh/orce, against which we pn^teated; thqr 
at length agreed to drop that bill, and frame another confonB* 
aUy to the proprietary instructions; this of course the fff^* 
nor passed, and I was then at liberty to proceed on roy rop 
age. But in the mean time the packet had saikd with aiy oci 
atorps, which was some loss to me, and my only recompM> 
was his lordship's thanka for my service; all the citcKtof 
attaining the accommodation falH ng to his share. 

He aet out for New York before me; and as the time fcr 
dispatching the packet boats was in his disposition, apd ihc^ 
^pere two then remaining there, one of which, he said wtfi^ 
aail very soon, I requested to know the precise time, that I 
might not misB her, by any delay of min^. The answer wa^ 
n I have given out that she is to aail on Saturday next, hat 
I may let you know» entre wnUf that if you are there hy 

HERJAMlir VXAlTKUir. l6ft 

Monilay morhiD^^, yon will be in timefbnt do not delay Iong« 
er!" By sbme accidental hindrance at a ferry, it was Moii« 
day noon before I arrived, and I was much afraid she might 
have sailed, as the wind was fair; hot I was soon made easy 
by the information that she was still in the harbor, and 
woold not move till next day. One woold imagine that 1 was 
BOW on the very point of departing for Europe; I thought 8o> 
but I was not then so well acquainted with his lordship's cha* 
ncter, of which in^scbxan was one of the strongest features; 
I shall give some instances. It was about the beginning of 
April, that I came to New York, and I thiniL it was near 
tbe end of June before we sailed. There were then two of 
the packet-boats which had- been long in readiness, but were 
detained for the general's letters, which were always to be 
ready ithtnomnv. Another packet arrived, she too was de- 
tamed, and before we sailed a fourth was expected. Ours was . 
the first to be dispatched; as having been there longest. 
Ptesengers were engaged for all, and some extremely impa* 
tient to be gone, and the merchants uneasy about their let« 
ters, and for the orders they had given for insurance (it be* 
iiig war time) and for autumnal goods; but their anxiety 
availed nothing, bis lordship's letters were not ready : and yet 
whoever waited on him found him always at his desk, pen in ^ 
hand, and concluded he must needs write abundantly. Going 
ayself one morning to pay my respects, I found in his anti-» 
chamber, one Innis, a messenger of Philadelphia, who had 
come thence express, with a packet from governor Dennyt 
ibr the general. He delivered to me some letters from my 
friends there, which occasioned my inquiring when be was to 
retom, and where he lodged, that I might send some letters 
by him. He told me he was ordered to cfdl to-morrow at 
nhe for the general^s answer to the governor, and shrndd set 
off immediat«ily;f put my letters into his hands the same 
day. A fortaigfat after I met him again in the same place* 
^8oyM are soon retamed, Innis!'' <«Retttmed; no* I am 
iMgotoeyet^ ^^Howso?*' I have called bete this aod eveiy 

▼0!i.t Z 

]7d IfeBlConB ov 

iBoniKig Oiese two wMcs past for his loirdabip^ letten, ttA 
tbiBy are not yet ready .^^ « Is it possible^ when he is so gral 
a writer; for I see bin constantly at bis eacriixMr.'^ ^^Tcs," 
said Innist <« but he is like St, George^ on the signs, alwtfi 
tfn horseback but Tuver rides on." This observation of the 
niessenger wm it seems weil founded ; for when in Esginii 
I understood, that Mr. Pitt, (afterwards lord CbaithaBi,) gm 
tt as one reason for reoioying this general, ami sending geM- 
rds. Amherst and Wolf, that the minUtef never heard fnm 
khn^ and could not know what he was doing* 

This daily expectation of sailing, and all the three packets 
going down to Sandy Hook, to join the fleet there, tiiepasBfB- 
gers thought it best to be on board, lest by a sadden order, 
the skips should sail, andthey be left behind. There, if I remenH 
her, we were about six weeks, consuming our sea stores, tot 
obliged to procure more. At length the fleet sailed, the gnie- 
ral and all his army on board bound to Loaisburg, with in- 
tent to besiege and take that fortress; all the packet-boats ib 
conH>any, ordered to attend the general's ship, ready to recdve 
his dispatches when they should be ready. We were oot Ive 
days before we got a letter with leave to part; and then oar 
sMp quitted the fleet and steered for England. The other two 
packets he still detained, carried them with him to BAVta} 
where he staid some time to exercise his men in sham attacks 
npoo sham forts; then altered his mind as to besieging Loais- 
hnrg, and returned to New York, with all his troops^ to- 
grther with the two packets abovementioned, and ail tbdr 
passengers! Doring his absence the French and savages ba< 
taken Fort George, on the frontier of that proviiire, tfj 
flie Indians had massacred many of the garrison after cqN* 
tnlation. I saw afterwards in London, captain Bound, who 
oammanded one of those packets; he told me that when te 
hftd been detained a month, he acquainted his lordship thit 
his ship was grown foul, to a degree HiA most necesBai^ 
hinder her fast sailing, (a point of consequence for ftpA^' 
boat,) and requested an allowance of time to heave her dn*^ 
and clean her bottom. His lordship asked how long time that 


BBNJAMiN trnkmouw. tTl 

wmU rBfiire. He mswered three days. The general replied, 
^it fott can do it M one day, I give leai^e; otherwise not; 
for ya« must certainly sail tlie day after to-morrow.'^ 60 he 
■over ohta.ned leave, thouj^h detained afterwards from day to 
day during full thiee months. I saw also in London, one of 
BoaeH's passengers, who was so enraged against his terd- 
lUp for deceiving and detaining him ko long at New York, 
aad then carrying him to Halifax and hack again, that he 
swore he wouM sue him fop damages. Whether he did or 
BotI never heard j hot as he represented it, the injury to his 
aiEurs was very consideraUe. On the whole, I wondered 
mch how such a man came to be intrusted with so important 
a business as the conduct of a great army: but having since 
seen more of the great world, and the means of obtaining, and 
Motives for giving places and employments, my wonder is di- 
minisJied. Greneral Shirley, on whom the command of the army 
devolved upon the death of Braddock, would in my opinion,^ 
if contimied in place, have made a much better campaign 
than that of Loudon, in 1756, which was frivolous, expensive 
and dkgraceffil to our nation beyond conception. For though 
Shirley was not bred a soldier, tie was sensible and sagacious 
in himseif»«nd attentive tOvgood advice from others, capable 
ef fennittg Judicious plans, and quick and activie in carrying 
tiiem into execution. Loudon, instead of defending the colo- 
nies with Iris great army, left them totally exposed, wliile he 
peraded idly at Halifax; by which means Fort Greorge was 
lesti besides, he deranged all our mercantile operations^ and 
dis^essed our trade by a long embargo on the exportation of 
prervisions^ on pretence of keeping supplies from being ob- 
tained by the enemy, but in reality for beating down their 
price in flavor of the contractors, in whose profits, it was! 
said, (perliaps from suspicion only,) he had a share; and 
when at kngtb the embargo was taken oflT, neglecting to send 
aotice of it to Charleston, where the Carolina fleet was de« 
Mned near three months; and whereby their bottoms were 
80 OHich damaged by the worm, that a great part of them foun- 
dered in their passage home. Shirley was, I believe, sincerdy 

ird MEKOiad OF 

glad of being relieved from so bartbemome a charge, as tke 
conduct of an army must be to a man unacquainted mth mi* 
litary business. I was at the entertainment given by the ciiy 
of Mew Yorky to lord Loudon, on his taking upon htm the 
command. Shirley, though thereby supersedodf was pivseit 
also. There was a gireat company of officers, citizens^ and 
strangersyandsomechaira having been borrowed in the origb- 
borhood, tbci*e was one among th^m very low, which tAl to 
the lot of Mr. Shirley. I sat by him, and perceiviiig it, I 
said, they have given you a very <« No matter, Mr. 
Franklin, said he, I find a low seat the easiest'' 

While I was, as beforementioned, detained at New York, 
I received all the accounts of the provisions, &c., that I had 
furnished to Braddock, some of which accounts coold notsoon- 
er be obtained from the different persons I had employed to 
assist in the business; I presented them to Lord Loudon, de- 
siring to be paid the balance. He caused them to be examined 
by the proper officer, who after comparing every article with 
Its voucher, certified them to be right; and his lordship pro- 
mised to give me an order on the paymaster for the balance 
dne to me. This was however put off from time to time^ and 
though 1 called often for it by appointment, 1 did not get it. 
At length, just before my departure, he told roe he had on 
better consideration concluded not to mix his accounts with 
those of his predecessors. "And you, said he, when in Eng- 
land, have only to exhibit your accounts to the treasury, and 
you .will be paid immediately.'* I mentioned, but without 
effect^ a great and unexpected expense I had been put to by 
being detained so long at New York, as a reason for my de« 
siring to he presently paid; and on my observing that it was 
not right I should be put to any further trouble or delaj in 
obtaining the money I had advanced, as I charged no coo- 
mission for my service; « O,** said he, « you must not thiidc 
of persuading us that you are no gainer: we understand bet- 
ter those matters, and know that every one concerned in sup- 
plying the army, finds means in the doing it to fill his own 
pockets.'* I assured him tliat was not my case, and that I hU 


Batpocketed a fartliing: bat be appeared clearly not to believe 
me; and indeed I afterwards learned that immense fortunes 
are often made in such employments: as to my balance I am 
Bot paid it to this day; of which more hereafter. 

Our captain of the packet boasted much before we sailed 
of the swiftness of his ship; unfortunately when we came to 
8ea» she proved tlie dullest of ninety-six sail, to bis no small 
iBortification. After many conjectures respecting the caus^» 
when we were near another ship^ almost as dull as ours^ 
which however gained upon us, the captain ordered all bands 
to come aft and staud as near tlie ensign staff as possible. 
We virere, passengers included) about forty persons; while we 
stood there the ship mended her pace, and soon left her neigh- 
bor far behind^ which proved clearly what our captain sus- 
pectedy that she was loaded too much by the head. The casks 
of water it seems had been placed forward; these he therefore 
ordered to be moved further aft^ on which the ship recovered 
ker character^ and proved the best sailer in the ieet The 
captain said slie had once gone at the rate of thirteen knots^ 
which is accounted thirteen miles per hour. We had on boardf 
as a passenger, captain Archibald Kennedy,^* of the royal 
navy, who contended that it was impossiblet and that no ship 
ever sailed so fast» and that there must have been some er- 
rpr in the division of the log-line» or some mistake in heaving 
tb^ log. A wager ensued between the two captains^ to be de- 
cidcd when there should be sufficient wind : Kennedy^ there^ 
fote examined the log-linct and being satisfied with it» he 
determined to throw the log himself. Some days after when 
the wind was very fair and fresh, and the captain of the 
packet (Lut^'idge) said, he believed she then went at the rata 
of thirteen knots; Kennedy made the experiment, and owned 
his wager lost. The foregoing fact I give for tlie sake of the 
fiillowing observation: it has been remarked as an imperfec- 
tion in the art of ship-building, that it can never be known till 

^ Since tarl of Cassilis; father of the present earl, tSIT* 


dw ia tried, whether a new ship will, or will mot k% a gnoA 
sailer; for that the model of a good Bailing ship has been ex- 
actly followed in a new one, which has been proved on the 
contrary remarkably dull. I apprehend that this may partij 
be occasioned by the different opinions of seamen resp^ctiog 
the modes of loadingf rigging, and sailing of a ship; each htf 
his method, and the same vessel laden by the method and or- 
ders of one captain, shall sail worse than wiien by the orden 
of another. Besides, it scarce ever happens that a ship 'm 
formed* fitted for the sea, and sailed by the same person; OM 
man builds the hull, another rigs her, a tliird loads and saSs 
her. No one of these has the advantage of knowing all tke 
ideas and experience of the others, and therefore caiuot 
draw just conclusions from a combination of the wh<4e« Eves 
in the simple operation of sailing when at sea, I have oAn 
observed different jndgmehts in tlie officers who commanded 
tlie successive watches, the wind beinfi^ tite same. One wonid 
have the sails trimmed sharper or flatter than another, so that 
they seemed to have no certain rale to govern by. Yet I 
think a set of experiments might be instituted, fint to dete^ 
mine the most proper form of the hull for swift sailing; next 
the best dimensions and properest place for the masts; then 
tiie form and quantity of sails, and their position as the winds 
may be; and lastly, the disposition of the lading. This Is «o 
age of experiments, and I think a set accurately made and 
combined would be of great use. 

We were several times chased in our passage, but ootBailed 
every thing; and in thirty days had soundings. We had i 
good observation, and the captain judged himself so near oor 
port, (Palmoutli) that if we made a good run in the nigiilt 
we might be off the mouth of that harbor in the mormgi 
and by running in the night might escape the notice of the 
enemy's privateers, who often cruised near the entrance « 
the Channel. Accordingly all tlie sail was set that we could 
possibly carry, and the wind being very fresh and fair, we 
stood right before it, and made great way. The captaiB? 
after his observation, shaped his course, as he thought, so as 


tapftw wkie of the ScHlj rocks; but it seems there is some- 
tiEDcs a strong current setting up St. George's Channel^ 
which formerly caused tlie loss of sir Cioudesley Slioyel'9 
squadron (in 1707): this wan probably also the cause oC 
what happened to us. We had a watcltBian placed in the bow» 
to whom they often called^ **Look well out before there $** and 
be as often answered, ^^^ye^ aye;'' hut perhaps bad his eyes 
sbtttyand was half askep at the time; they sometimes an* 
8wering5 as is said, mechanically; for he did not see a light 
just before us, which had been hid by the studding sails from 
the man at the helm, and from the rest of the watch, but by 
an accidental yaw of tlie ship was discovered, and occasioned 
a great alarm, we being very near it; the light appearing to 
me as large as a cart wheel. It was midnight, and our cap- 
tain fast asleep; but captain Kennedy, jumping upon deck, 
and seeing the dangt'r, ordered the stiip to wear round, all 
safls 'standing; an operation dangerous to the masts, but it 
carried us clear, and we avoided shipwreck, for we were 
ninning fast on the rocks on which the light was erected. 
This deliverance impressed me strong with the utility of light- 
honses, and made me resolve to encourage the building some 
of them in America, if I should live to return thither. 

In the morning it was found by the soundings, &c., that 
we were near our port, but a thick fog hid the land from our 
sight About nine o'clock the fog began to rise, and seemed 
to be lifted up from the water, like the curtain of a theatre^ 
dbcovering underneath the town of Falmouth, the vessels in 
the harbor, and the fields that surround it. This was a pleas- 
ing spectacle to those who had been long without any other 
prospect than the uniform view of a vacant oce^n^ and it 
gave OS the more pleasure, as we were now free from the 
anxieties which had arisen.« 

*In a letter from Dr. Franklin to hii wife» dated at Fahnoutb, the 17th 
^h t757, after giving her a similar account of his voyage, escape, and 
hndxng; he adds» " The bell ringing for church, ve went thither imme- 
lately, and with hearts fidl of gratitude, returned sincere thanks to God 

J76 - HEMOniS OF 

I set out immediately, with my son«^ Tor London^ and m 
only stopped a little by the way to view Stonelienge, on Sai»« 
bury plain; and lord Pembroke's house and gardens^ with 
the very curious antiquities at Wilton. 

We arrived in London, the 27th July, 1757. 

for the mercies we had received : were I a Roman Catholic, perfaapi I 
should on this occasion vow to build a chapel to some saint; but u I ta 
not, if 1 were to vow at all, it should be to build a fi^Az-^oicse," ' 
* William Franlilin, afterwards governor of New Jersey. 




THAT profound observer of men and manners, lord Ba« 
coD» bath obsenred on the advantages ot Biographical writing 
over other branches of historical composition » that ** History 
of times representetH the magnitude of actions* and the pub- 
lic faces or deportments of persons, and passeth over in si- 
lence the smaller passages and motions of men and matters* 
But such being the workmanship of God, as he doth hang 
the greatest weights upon the smallest wires, maxima i mu 
mm mupendens; it comes therefore to pass, that such histo- 
ries do rather set forth the pomp of business, than the true 
and inward resorts thereof. But Lives if they be well writ- 
ten, propounding to themselves a person to represent, in wliom 
actions both greater and smaller, public and private, have a 
commtxtore, must of necessity contain a more true, native, 
and lively representation." Of the truth of this sagacious re- 
mark, a more convincing evidence can hardly be adduced 
than the memoirs which Dr. Franklin hath left of himself; 
iiUHl the reader has to lament, tliat when the author resumed 
his narrative, at the request of some intelligent friends, he 
did it under the inconvenience of public business, and at a 
distance from his papers; but the greatest matter of regret 
is, that he did not bring the liistory of his own times do^n 
throagb the stormy and eventful period in wliich he made so 
conspicuous a figure, near to the close of his illustrious and 
exen^ary career. Great light and much curious and inte- 
resting information respecting the same, may however be 
collected from his f* Private and Political Correspondence, ** 
forming a sequel to these memoirs. 

VOL.1. A a 


7he necessity of pursuing the narration with cbroDoIogi* 
cal precision is obvious and imperative, but the only matter 
for concern is the indispensable obligation of changing tbe 
style of the relation from the dignity of the first person, 
Vfhich diffuses exquisite beauty and gives peculiar energy to 
the preceding parts of the history. This however will in 
some instances be avoided^ Dr. Franklin having left, (writ- 
ten by himself) several separate relations of events, or cir- 
cumstances in which he was particularly concerned; these^ 
together with some of his letters, elucidating similar objects, 
will be inserted (in his own language) in their proper places; 
which he probably would himself have done, had he lived to 
complete the narrative of his Life: Where however this re- 
source is wanting, all that remains to be done is to adhere 
scrupulously to .the verity of facts and to the evidence of ao- 
ihorities ; with as close an attention to the simplicity of the 
preceding pages as may be, without falling into the error of 
servile imitation. 

It will be pnjper here to enter into some detail on the state 
of Pennsylvania, at the period when the voyage to England 
took place, of which an account is given at the close of the 
last part of the author's own Memoir ; because as he was 
obliged to trust solely to his memory, some slight inaccura- 
cies escaped him, that would otherwise have been avoided. 

In January, 1757, the houae of assembly voted a bill for 
granting to his majesty the sum of one hundred fhmsani 
poinds by a tax on all the estates, real and personal, and tax- 
ables, within the province; but on submitting It to goverDor 
Denny for his sanction, he refused it in a message, which 
among other remarkable observations, contained the foDowinS 
avowal of hw subservience to the Penn family. « The proprie- 
taries are willing their estates should be taxed intlie manner 
that appears to them to be reasonable, and agreeable to the 
land tax acts of parliament in onr mother country* I ftin ^ 
inclined to enter into any dispute with you on the subjects 
since it cannot be decided on this side the water; nor can I 
see what good end it can answer, as the proprietaries have 


]M»itiYelj enjoined me, not to pass any bill that is against 
tbdr instruction. As his majesty's senrice, and the defence 
ef'tfais province, render it necessary to raise immediate sup-* 
plies, I must earnestly recomfuend it to you to frame such a 
bill as it is in my power to pass, consistent with my honor 
and my engagements to the proprietaries, which I am per* 
saaded yau will not desire me to violate* I have some amend<* 
Hients to propose to particular parts of the bill now befora me^ 
which I shall comoninicate to you, as soon as I know whether 
yon determine topi*epare a new bill, free from the objection 
I have abovementioned/' Upon this the house jo{ assembly 
came to a resolution which was digested in^ the form of a re- 
BOQstrance, by Mr. Franklin, as the internal evidence of 
thehnguage plainly demonstrates. It was as follows: 

^< The repi-esentattves of the freemen of Pennsylvania, in 
general assembly met, do hereby humbly remonstrate to your 
bonor, that the proprietaries professed willingness to be taxed, 
nentiimed by your honor, in your message of Tuesday last, 
can be intended only to amuse and.deceive their superiors; 
since they have in their instructions excepted all their qnit^. 
rents, located unimproved lands, pui*chase-money at interest, 
and in short, so much of their vast estate, as to reduce their 
taXj as far as appears to us, below that of a common farmer 
or tradesman. 

^'That though the proprietaries instructions are by no 
HKans laws in this province, we liave so far complied with 
them, as to confine the sum given to bo raised in one year. 
And had we complied with them in the other particulars, the 
nuBing any thing near the sum required by the present ext* 
gSBGies of the province, would he absolutely impossible. 

''That the apparent necessity of so large a sum for his 
Bugeaty's service, and the defence of this his province, found* 
d upon the governor's own estimate, has obliged us to an 
effort beyond our strength, being assured, that hundreds of 
bmilies must be distressed to pay this tax. 

''That we have, in the due exercise of our just rights by 
theroyd and provincial charters^ and the laws of this pro- 


Tince, and as an English representative bodji framed tbii 
billy consistent with tiiose rights. 

«« That the bill is agreeable to justice and equity witkf^ 
gard to the proprietaries, and is not repugnant to tbe kws 
of our mother country, but as nearly agreeable thereto asov 
diffei*ent circumstances will permit; nor is it contrary to uj 
royal instruction whatever. I'hat great as the sum is, aid 
hard for this people to pay, we freely oflTer it to our gracioas 
king for his service, and the defence of this colony from ills 
najesty^a enemies. 

<< That the proprietaries refusing to permit us to gnut 
money to the crown in this time of war, and iramineot dan- 
ger to the province, unless we will consent thus to exeaipt 
their estates from the tax, we conceive to be injurioostote 
interests of the crown, and tyrannical with rtgaiTi to tte 

** That we do further humbly conceive, neither the profiri- 
etaries, nor any other power on earth, ought to interfm be- 
tween tts and our sovereign, either to modify, or rtbmw 
free gifts and grants for his majesty's service. 

«< That though the governor may be under obligation t» 
the proprietaries, we conceive he is under greater to tiie 
crown, and to tlie people he is appointed to govern; to pro- 
mote the service of the former, preserve the rights of the 
latter, and protect them fh>m their cruel enemies. 

«< We do, therefore, in the name of our most gracioas so- 
vereijni, and in behalf of the distressed people we repreaeatf 
unanimously demand it of the governor as our right, thatte 
give his assent to the bill we now present him, for graot' 
ing to his majesty one hundred thousand pounds (or the de- 
fence of this province, (and as it is a money-bill, witboit al- 
teration or amendment, any instructions whatsoever fnuaft^ 
proprietaries notwithstanding) as he will answer to the cmvn 
fbr all the consequences of his refusal at his periL 
(Signed by order of the house) 


Januarys^ 1757. 

This spirited remonstrance, in which it might be almost 
aaid that ar^iment and satire an* blended, failed to produce 
any other effect upon the governor than of confirming his 
refusal, and of drawing from him a laboi*ed justification, 
grounded upon parliami^ntary usage in England, and tlie sup- 
posed hanlsJiip of taxing the unimproved lands of the pro- 
prietaries. His objections were replied tu seriatim by the 
bouse, and at considerable length, but with that perspicuity 
ibr which Franklin was ever distinguished. At the conclusion 
it was << ordered, February £8, 1757, that Mr. Roberdeau 
and Mr. Torke do wait upon the governor with the bill for 
granting one hundred thousand pounds for the defence of the 
province, and acquaint him, that upon receiving his honor's 
Dessage of the 12th instant, sent down with our last supply 
bill, the committee to whom that message was referred, have 
reported fully upon all the objections against that bill, which, 
after mature deliberation, the house have approved, and find 
those objections are rather excuses for not passing the bill, 
than reasons against it: — ^That the bill itself is only a sup- 
plemeutto an act, which, after a full Jiearing before the lords 
of trade, has very lately received the royal assent; and we 
confined ourselves to that art, with as few alterations as po6« 
sible, ^q>rehending the bill would be free from all objections 
Qnder the royal sanction so lately obtained : — That by the es- 
timate the governor laid before us this session, he computes 
the Sim of one hundred and twenty-seven thousand pounds 
as necessary to be raised for the defence of the province in 
tiie ensuing year; and yet upon the most exact computation 
we have been able to make, no more than thirty thousand 
pounds could be raised upon the province in one year by bis 
restricted powers, and not one-third of his proposed estimate^ 
by the addition of all tbe other measures he has proposed, if 
the house were so insensible of the duty they owe to their 
constituents as to take their money laws from him only:— ^ 
That therefore we desire to know his finul result upon this 
biH, which we once more send up for his concurrence; and if 
be sboidd^ notwithstanding, continue to refuse his assent to 


It as it DOW stands, we must refer it to his honor to pay the 
forces by hiui raised, or to disband tkeniy as he shall judge 
be can best answer for his conduct to his majesty, whose co* 
lony we apprehend to be in imminent danger, and for the de* 
fence whereof we have in vain endeavored to make the oe* 
cessary provision as far as lay in our power/' 

Great events it has been frequently observed spring from 
little causes, and though the contest between the governor 
and the assembly of Pennsylvania was far from being in it- 
self of trivial import, considering tlie variety of interests 
which it involved, yet as being a local and private concern, no 
extensive consequences could reasonably have been expected to 
flow from it. To the piiilosophical historian, however, who 
watches the influence of casual occurrences upon the actions 
and opinions of eminent men, it will appear more than pro- 
bable, that this struggle for an equalization of rights in one 
province, led the way, or at least incidentally prepared the 
people of America for a more general resistance to arbitrarf 
impositions. The refusal of the proprietaries to take tbeir 
part of the public burthens, while they enjoyed all the in- 
creasing advantages resulting from the security thereby af- 
forded, brought questions under discussion which might other- 
wise have lain dormant Certain it is that these disputes, by 
calling the energetic mind of Benjamin Franklin into a new 
field of inquiry, and clothing him with the diplomatic cha- 
racter, enlarged the sphere of his observation, and fitted him 
for those extraordinary services in wirich he acquired the 
greatest glory by contributing to that of his country. 

On his arrival in England he found, that innumerable and 
weighty obstacles were thrown in his way, by the art and in- 
dustry of those who had an interest in prejudicing the pablic 
mind against the force of his representations. For this pur- 
pose the newspapers were constantly supplied with psra- 
graphs, under the form of ItUdUgencefrom Penfuy2vaftui»hat 
in reality manufactured in London, and conveying gross r^ 
flections upon the assembly and the inhabitants of the prtH 
vince^ who were described as actuated by selfish motives sad 


a refiractoiy spirit, because they persisted in witUstandiDg^ 
the claim of the propietaries to an exemption from that tax- 
ation which was necessary to the defence of their own estates. 
To increase the niorti^cation of the provincial agent, he saw 
that the people were so little acquainted with the internal 
condition of the colonies, as almost to regard with indiffer* 
ence any complaint of grievances which issued thence. Be- 
sides this, the public attention being fixed upon the progress 
of the war in Germany, rendered it a still more arduous task 
to remove the impressions produced by interested individuals^ 
against the equitable claims of the inhabitants of a settle- 
ment in anothpr part of the world. If to these formidable 
impediments be added the natural reluctance of government 
to interpose in local disputes, arising from the ambiguity, or 
e?en the abuse of royal grants, it will be seen that the re- 
presentative of the Pennsylvania assembly had more to dis- 
hearten than to encourage him in the mission which had been 
entrusted to his zeal and management Considering the com- 
plexion of European politics at that period, and the superior 
inflaenc(f of those with whom he had to negotiate or contend, 
his situation was of a description that would have depressed 
men of vigorous intellect and of the most enlarged experi- 
ence in the intrigues of public business. But it was well per- 
haps for the ininiediatc benefit of the particular province to 
which he stood related, and also for the future advantage of 
the American states, that these difficulties occurred, as they 
not only brought into exercise the powers of him who was 
fitted to overcome them, but laid the foundation of connex- 
ions and improvements that in all probability would not other- 
wise have taken place. 

One of the first objects attended to by Dr. Franklin, was 
the current of public opinion on the concern in which he was 
peculiarly interested, and to observe the means adopted to 
give that opinion a bias unfavorable to the cause which he 
^ to support. Finding that the press was employed for this 
Purpose, he resolved to avail himself of the same source of 
information, and fully aware of his own strength, no less 


than of the justice of what be defended, he entertained the 
confident assurance of being able to refute calumny by Gubf 
and to correct the errors arising from misrepresentation bj 
simple and conclusive reasoning. ,^ 

An opportunity soon offered tO' bring the subject fairij be- 
fore the public, in consequence of the insertion of an artide 
in a paper called the << CitizeUf or Otneral Mvtr&Mfi^ sitt- 
ing that recent letters from Philadelphia brought dreadful ac- 
counts of the ravages committed by the Indians on the in- 
habitants of the back provinces; and that notwitbstandiBS 
these cruelties the disputes between the governor and the 
assembly wei*e carried on to as great a height as ever^ the 
messages on both sides being expressed in terms which give 
very little hopes of a reconciliation. The intelligence then 
went into particulars, by saying the bill to raise money wis 
clogged, so as to prevent tlie governor from giving his con- 
sent to it; and that the obstinacy of the Quakers in tbens- 
sembly was sucli, that they would in no sliape alter it; so that 
While the enemy was in the heart of the country, cavils pre- 
vented any tiling being done for its relief. The evident ob- 
ject of this paragraph was to create general indi|;nstioi 
against the assembly, by making it appear that the menben 
of it were of so factious a disposition as to sacrifice the wd- 
fare of their country for the {^ratification of private endSf 
and so dead to all the finer feelings ot* humanity as to aban- 
don their helpless fellow-creatures to savage ferocity» rather 
than lay aside their particular differences. It did not require 
the sagacity of BenjsCmin Franklin to discover that this b- 
brication originated in a spirit of alarm occasioned by thecir« 
cumstance that an accredited agent on the part of the province 
was in London; but reflecting that, as such, it did not .become 
him on the one hand to enter upon the public discussion of 
the concern which he was employed to bring to an amicable 
conclusion, nor on the other to preserve an absolute silenCff 
which might prove detrimental to the interests of those whom 
he represented, he therefore judiciously caused a rcply> b^' 
ing the name of his son, to be inserted in the same jooni^; 


bwD vfaich be had the satisfaction of seeing it transplanted 
into other papers of greater in^portance and more extensive 
circulation. In this letter, dated from the Pennsylvania coffee 
bouse, London, September 16, 1757, the author repeto the 
iDsiouation thrown out against one province, as if it quies* 
cently suffered more from|he Indians than any otherj by 
shewing that the contrary was the fact> and that the i*est of 
die colonies were as much exposed to savage depredation ad 
Pennsylvania. In the next place he observes, that the inhabit* 
tants on the frontiers of that province were not Quakers, and 
that so far from entertaining the passive principles of this 
sect, they were supplied with arms, and had frequently re* 
pdled die enemy. On the subject of the disputes so invidf- 
oudy mentioned in the pretended news, it was shewn fiiat 
they wei*e occasioned chiefly by new instructions or commands 
sent from England, forbidding the governors to sanction any 
hw% imposing taxes for the defence of the country, unless flie 
proprietary estate, or much the greatest part of it, was ex« 
empted fronf the burthen. With respect to tlie Quakers, who 
had been represented as the instigators of thie contc^ion, the 
author of the letter satisfactorily proved, by the adduction of 
facts, that they constituted but a small part of tlie existing' 
population of the province, and were no more active in thtf 
disputes than the rest of the inhabitants, who, with the excep- 
tion of the proprietary tjffkers and their dependatiis, bad joined 
in opposing the instructions and contending for their rights. 
In ftrtlier vindication of the Quakers it was observed, that 
notwithstanding their scruple about bearing arms, they' had 
contributed largely for the defence of the country; and that» 
to prevent any obstructidh in the assembly from their pecoliaf 
opinions, they had for the most part declined sitting in the as- 
sembly. Having thus cleared unfounded objedlions, and illibe- 
ral aspersions, the letter proceeded to a statistical ao^oont of 
the province, and of the spirit of the people, from which ilie' 
British {mbiic might see that every thing had been done there' 
to8«cui>e the frontier and to protect the trade pf the nelgli- 
Vor.r, Bb 


boring governments^ without any contributions^ dtfaer GnMi 
those colonies or the mother country. 

This paper was well adapted to draw the attention of think- 
ing men to the real state of Pennsylvania^ and the nature of 
the grievances complained of by the great body of its inbaU- 
tant^, whose misfortone it was to have their cause little uh 
derstood^ where only they had to look for a remedy. To re- 
move this obstacle more effectually, and to bring the subject 
SO' fully before the public as to render all the arts of misR- 
presentation no longer availing to the selfish purposes of u 
interested party, Mr. Franlilin, while engaged in negotiation • 
with the proprietaries, employed his leisure hours in drawiif 
up a minute account of the province for general informatioo. 
The necessity of such a publication was obvious from the in- 
sidious attempts made, through various journals, to bbckea 
ihe inhabitants of Pennsylvania with the foul charges of in- 
gratitude to the founder of that colony, iiyustice to its preieot 
proprietors, and even disaffection to the parent countiy. Mr. 
Franklin saw with concern that this delusion jp^vaiied to 
such a degree as to give him little chance of success in the 
object of his mission, until he could dispel the cloud of pr^ 
judice that craft had raised, and convince the British mtioR 
of the wrong which it Countenanced, through ignorance and 
credulity. But knowing that it is in the nature of diacuasioa 
to dicit truth, and of perseverance to defeat falsehoodi be 
resolved to publish a volume that should attract notice by tbe 
manner of its composition, and produce effect by the impor- 
tance of the matter which it contained. With this view be 
b^gan to trace the history of the province from its priiD«7 
settlement, and to exhibit the various changes which it bad 
progressively undergone in the form of its government. Hav- 
ing sketched iiiqfdesign, he found that it grew upon bis bandSf 
aa it not only obliged him to enter minutely into the detail of 
facts and tbe adduction of records, but to illustrate thembf 
-explanations and to iq^ply them by reflections. This perforn- 
ance appeared at the beginning of 175§, with the title of 
<fJin Eistorkal Beiriew of the CmOituHon and Oavemment 


tf PenHsylvania /remits imgins so far as regards the several 
poMs of controversy which have from time to time arisen be» 
iween the several governors of Pennsylvania and their several 
assemblies. Founded on authentic documents,^^ To which was pre* 
fixed this motto : << Hiose who give up essential Uberty to pur; 
those a little temporary safety y deserve neither Uberty nor safe' 
tf.^ This work was necessarily anonymous; and the strict* 
est circumspection appears to have been obserred in regard 
to the author, who being at that time employed in negotiat- 
ing with the proprietaries, as well as in biinging the business 
before the privy council, could not well publish anystate- 
meat of the matters under discussion in his own name. The 
^ Rbtiew/' therefore, long passed as the production of Jafnes 
Balphf the historian, who having long resided in Philadel- 
phia, and being generally known as a political writer, was 
fte more easily believed to have taken this deep interest in 
the concerns of a province with which he was well acquaint- 
ed. There is little doubt indeed that this ascription of the 
book to Balpli, was a matter perfectly agreeable to the real 
author, if not actually concerted by him, for the purpose of 
diverting the attention of those persons wbo, from interested 
motives and resentment, might have been disposed to repre- 
sent his appeal to the public as an injury to individuals, and 
an insult oflfered to government Mr. Franklin was aware» 
that his mission excited jealousy, and that his conduct would 
therefore be closely watched, in order to take the advantage 
of any inadvertencies which he might commit While, there- 
fere, he saw the expediency of setting the nation right on the 
subject Jn dispute, in order to justify the colonists on the one 
handy and to reduce the extravagant claims of those who 
lorded it over them on the other; he was careful to da thia 
in such a manner as should not give oflfence to any party. At 
present the internal character of the book is too strongly 
marked to mislead any one that is at all conversant with the. 
style of Franklin; but when it originally appeared, his re- 

* This historical review forms YoL n. of this edition. 

1«|) MKMOIRS Oir 

pntation as a writer was not suflkiently. established to render 
the discorerj easy by the simple test of literary compositkn. 
Socb^ howeyer* were its attractions in this respect, that not* 
withstanding the peculiar aridity of the subject, the work 
gained public notice, and was distinguished by the approba- 
tion of those who wei*e most competent to decide upon its 

The dedication to Arthur Onslow, the venerable speaiier 
of the house of commons, would alone be suflEicient to ascer- 
tain the hand whence the review proceeded; for, independent 
of its* epigrammatic turns and general tei-seness, it breathes 
the language of a person acting by the authority of tbe pro- 
vincialifits, whose cause he so powerfully pleaded. 

That introduction will be found in page xxxiii of the se- 
cond volume of this edition; and a sprightly dedicatioo in 
page XV. This review abounds with original and Tigorou 
ideas—** Power like water is ever working its way; ini 
wherever it can find or make an opening, is altogether as 
prone to overflow whatever is subject to it: and though mat- 
ter of right overlooked Qiay be reclaimed and restored at 
any time^ it cannot be too soon reclaimed and restored.'^ 

A writer who was a contemporary, speaking of this «Br- 
riew," says, « Pennsylvania had in our author a roost zeal- 
ous and able advocate. His sentiments are manly, liberal) 
and spirited. His style close, nervous, and rhetorical. By a 
forcible display of tbe oppression of his clients, he inclines 
the reader to pity their condition, and by an enumeration of 
their virtues he endeavors to remove the idea, which maybe 
entertained of their unimportance; and that, abstracted from 
their consideration in a political light, they claim our regani 
hy reason of their own personal merits.*' 

The publication, though anonymous, undoubtedly produced 
a considerable cflbct; and by bringing the grievances of tlie 
colonists closely under the considerat'on of the British publio 
tended materially to facilitate tlie object of the author, and 
even to enlarge his views with regard to the inconvenience 
of tbe proprietary government Finding that the family <^f 

the fiNinder would not relax in their demands, and that the 
pvUication of this explicit statement had exasperated them 
ill DO ordinary degree^ the agent for the province brought the 
cause of bis clients in the shape of a petition before the privy 
cooncil. Such indeed was his'activity, and so confident were 
the provincialists of the success of their cause in his hands^ 
that daring his residence in England the assembly passed a 
lav for the imposition of a tax» in which no exemption was 
nade in favor of the proprietary estates. This bill received 
tiie assent of governor Denny, which plainly evinced, that 
the governor felt not only the reasonableness of the measure 
itself, but tlie certainty that his employers must soon yield 
to the persevering efforts of tlieir opponents. The proprieta^ 
ries, <m receiving the intelligence of this advance in the cause 
of independence, exerted themselves to prevent the royal 
sanction from being given to the money-bill which their own 
governor had passed, but which' they represented as subver- 
sive of their chartered rights, and tending to ruin themselves 
aa4 their posterity, by bringing upon them all the expenses 
necessary for the defence and support of the province. The 
cause, however, proceeded before the lords of the cooncil, 
and though the Fenn. family did not want powerful support, 
and very able advocates, such was the force of simple truth 
and the evidence of plain facts, that the agent of the colony 
soon perceived the' advantage which liad been gained by his 
IHrodent management and seasonable publication. After some 
dehy and much tedious discussion, a proposal of accommo- 
dation was made on the part of the proprietaries, that Mr. 
FraoUin should engage for his employers not to assess the 
estates in question beyond their due proportion. To this pro* 
position no objectiot\ could be oflTered, for it in fact conceded 
the very ground of litigation, and established by consent 
of the contending parties and under the authority of govern- 
ment, all the rights to which the inhabitants of Pennsylvania 
hud claim, and of which they had been so long deprived. 
This termination of the controversy brought the abilities of 
Franklin into full exercise, and the engagement into which 


be entered was so scrupulously fulfilled, as to raise him in tho 
. estimation of those persons who had for a considerable time 
looked upon him with jealousy, and considered him as inimi- 
cal to tlieir interests. The conspicuous light in which this 
business placed his talents and integrity sufficienOy appear* 
ed, indeed, by the circumstance, that when the conclusion oC 
the dispute became known in America, the colonies of Mas- 
sachusetts, Maryland, and Georgia, were anxious to hare 
hlffi for tlieir agent in England; which appointment suitiiig 
his views and connexions was readily accepted, and as ho- 
norably discharged. 

His conduct, however, in the Pennsylvanian differencts, 
though so unequivocally marked by the public approbatioaof 
those who were the most competent to judge of its meritSf 
has i)ot passed without censure; and the late biographer of 
William Fenn, finding it necessary to vindicate that extraor- 
dinary character from the various charges and surmises 
brought against him by various writers, among ^he rest took 
notice of the Htitorical Review f published by Franklin, ail 
the spirit in which it was composed. Mr. Clarkson obsenres, 
that this book was the production of Franklin, ** iiwof^ it 
was attributed to one Ralph, to prejudice the people against 
the proprietary family, in order to effect a change of gorem- 
racnt from proprietary to royal; which was afterwards at- 
tempted, but which to his great chagrin failed. This fcilore 
laid the foundation of his animosity to Great Britain, which 
was so conspicuous afterwards."^ 

Here the biographer, in his zeal to defend the founder of 
Pennsylvania, has committed the very fault which be has eo* 
deavorcd to fasteA as an error upon Franklin ; for it certain' 
ly is not true that the latter wrote his bopk to effect a ehaogs 
in the government, which design there is every reason to h^ 
lievc had not been even conceived at the time,'howcver itfflV 
have been long after. The work was drawn up for no other , 

' Memoirs of the private and public life of William Penn. By tkotof* 
Clarkson, M. A. Vol. II. p. 386. 

BENJAMIir FHANKXlir. 191 ^ 

purpofle than to exhibit tlie state of the province, and to make 
the nation clearly acquainted with the progressive grievances 
of which the inhabitants complained. Undoubtedly these 
grievances were in a great measaro traced by the author to 
the manner in which William Fenn had secured his property 
originally, and provided for an increase of it in the event of 
the prosperous advance of the colony. 

The historian of Pennsylvania could not avoid noticing ' 

the double part which this celebrated legislator had played, as 
proprietary and governor; for the people of his own persua- 
sion, who had embarked with him in this concern, had hea- 
vily and repeatedly complained of his conduct towards them, i 
and their charges agaiqst him upon record, are infinitely 
more severe than the slight touches of sarcastic reflection 
scattered here and there in the Review. Nor is it true that 
the disappointment experienced in the failure of the projected 
ilteration in the government from proprietary to royal, laid 
the foundation of any animosity in the mind of Franklin 
against Great Britain; for it is a well-known fact, that the 
differences between the parent country and the colonies were 
the source of great uneasiness to him ; and be endeavored 
an that lay in his power to prevent the rupture which ensued. 
This will clearly appear in the sequel of these memoirs. 

Mr. Clarkson very properly enters into a justification of 
Finn's moral character, and he has succeeded in a great de- 
gree in clearing up many doubtful points, which tended, on 
the authority of respectable >vriters, to bring, the principles 
of that eminent man into suspicion; but the same love of jus* 
tice ought to have prevented tlie biographer and panegyrist 
of Penn, from throwing illiberal reflections, and alleging un- 
founded accusations, against one who was not at least infe- 
i rior to him in abOity and integrity. Nevertheless Mr. Clark- 
[ son is willing to obtain the testimony of Franklin in favor of 
the object of his admiration, though it is to be regretted that 
he could not even do this without mixing with bis quotation 
flonething disrespectful of the very authority which he cited. 

192 MBMOIHS 07 


*< Nay," says he, «if I mistsike not, Dr. Franklin hiniadf 
was among those who highty respected Penn.*' 

The doctor had a satirical way of expressing himself when 
he was not pleased, and therefore when he found fault with 
William Penn, he could not get rid of his old habit; but the 
hostility he manifested was far more in manner than in heart. 
He was assuredly more severe upon William Penn's grand- 
sons, against whom (it is said) hepublishe<l asmallpamphlety 
where, as if no other way had been left to expose them, it is 
singular that he contrasted their conduct with the virtuous 
example of their noble ancestor. The little ludicrous motto, 
prefixed to this work, and which was taken from John Bo* 
gers's primer, may enable the reader to judge in part of its 


*' I send yoa here a little book. 

For you to look upon : 
That you may see your father's face^ 

Now he is dead and j^ne." 

The ingenious eulogist of Penn, however, does not seem 
to have been aware, that in attempting to invalidate the tes- 
timony of Franklin, he had before completely destroyed the 
value of his praise. In the general view of the character of 
Penn, no doubt the latter concurred fully with the voice of 
. the public ;ir but knowing as he did the minuter parts of the 
history of his connexions with the province which bears his 
name, it was impossible either to pass them over in absolute 
silence, or to speak of them without some observation on the 
want of consistency in so great a man. • 

Thiis much it was proper here to remark, because if a ne- 
cessity existed for the justification of Penn from any reflec- 
tions bestowed upon him by the historian of his settlcmentf 
it must be equally necessary to show that these reflections 

> In a letter to Mr. David Barclay, dated Passy, January 8» 1783, Dr. 
Franklin thus expresses himself. ** Your friends on both sides the Atlan- 
tic, hiay be assured of whatever justice or favor I may be able to pro- 
cure^ for them. My verusratwn for William Penn is not less tbaii yours • 
and I have always had great esteem for the body of your people.*' 


did not proceed from the wantonness of a satirical humor^or 
the malignity of wit, but from an attentive examination of 
the subject^ and the paramount love of truth, in a concern 
which demanded an investigation in detail^ and a full exposi- 
tion for the ends of justice. 

While Benjamin Franklin was engaged in this troublesome 
hot important concern^ at the court of Great Britain, he had 
opportuniti^ of becoming acquainted with many persons of 
tbe first consequence in the state, who, on their side were 
not wanting in observing his extraordinary sagacity and 
comprehensive understanding. The war in which Great Bri- 
tain was then involved, could not fail to excite much of his 
attention, land he was not alone in the opinion, that by pursu- 
ing the contest solely in Germany, England incurred an enor- 
mous expenditure, without eitlier reaping any immediate ad- 
vantage, or facilitating an honorable termination. There was 
somethings indeed, peculiarly splendid in the achievements 
of the king; of Prussia; and the nation, without knowing why, 
seemed to identify the cause of that monarch with the security 
of the Protestant religion, and the maintenance of the balance 
of power, the favorite delusions of that period. The judgment 
of Franklin was unbiased by prejudices which had no founda- 
tion in reason, and too cool to be warmed by the report of vic- 
tories, tho result of which appeared to be little mtre than an 
occasion for renewed exertions and" more sanguinary conflicts^ 
without any definite object or satisfactory prospect. He con- 
templated the interests of Britain jn a more dispassionate point 
rfview, than those who made them dependant upon the success 
of subsidized allies; and knowing by experience, how desirous 
Fnmce was to gain a more extended footing in America, he 
thought it would be the* wisest way to counteract her ambi- 
tious projects, by an attack upon her own colony. Franklin 
was no stranger to 'Canada, and he was thoroughly per- 
suaded that the possession of tliat country gave to the 
French a commanding influence over the Indians, of which 
they never failed to take an advantage, to the annoyance of 


the English colonies. Looking upon France in relation to 
England as another Carthage, he formed the project of d^ 
9troying her maritime ascendancy 5 as well to strengthen the 
political and commercial state of Great Britain, as to provide 
a permanent security for her foreign dependencies. The more 
be weighed the subject in his mind, the more was be satisfied 
that the true interest of Great Britain lay in weakening her 
rival on the side of America, rather than in Germany^ and 
these sentiments he imparted to some of his frienas, by whem 
they were imported to the indefatigable William Fitt» after- 
wards earl of Chatham; who no sooner consulted him on the 
practicability of the conquest, than he was conTinced by tlie 
force of his arguments, and determined by the simple acco-' 
racy of his statements. The enterprise was immediately ander- 
taken, the command given to general Wolfc, and conducted 
with such celerity, as completely to deceive France, who had 
BO apprehensions for the safety of Canada, till the intelligeiK;^ 
reached Europe of its being irrevocably lost. This acqoist- 
tion gave a new turn to the politisal interests of the English 
colonies, and followed as it soon was by a new reigny it coa- 
tributed very materially to the restoration of peace. The 
brilliancy of the conquest of Cana(la,*and the powerful pam- 
phlet written i^kout this tinie by Franklin's intimate frieody 
Jbrad Miuduit, a merchant of London^ on the impolicy of 
German wars, drew the attention of the nation to theimpor* 
tance of that country, and the necessity of preserving it for 
the welfare of our own colenies. There were not wanting^ 
however, some politicians who considered the possession of 
Canada in another light, and as less desirable than the reten- 
tion of Guadaloupe, which about the same time surrendered 
to the British arms. 

On the prospect of peace with France, the eari of Bath> 
addressed *« A LetUr to two great men/* (Mr. Pitt and the 
duke of Newcastle) on the terms necessary to be insisted on 
in the negotiations. He preferred the acquisition of Canada, 
to the acquisitions in the West Indies. In the same year 
(1760) there appeared, " Remarks an the Letter addressed is 

BENJAMlir f RANKlilN. ^ 195 

(WO great Men/* (written by Messieurs Burkes^) containing 
opposite opinions on this and other subjects. At this time 
Mr. Franklin stepped into the controversy, and wrote a 
pamphlet, in which he was assisted by his friend Mr. Rich- 
ard Jackson, (who desired not to be known on the occasion) 
entitled, <« The Interest of Great Britain considered witii re^ 
gard to the Colonies, and the acquisition of Canada andGuada" 
hmpe/*^ in wjiicb were pointed out in the most clear and for- 
cible manner, the advantages that would result to Great Bri- 
tain from the retention of Canada; demonstrating also, that 
the security of a dominion, is a justifiable and prudent 
groond upon which to demand cessions from an enemy; — that 
the erection of forts in the back settlements, was almost iti 
no instance a sufficient security against the Indians and ibe 
French; but that the possession of Canada implied every 
secnrity, and ought to be had while in the power of the Bri- 
tish goTemment:— .and that the French retaining Canada, 
vonU be an encouragement to disaffection in the British co- 
lonies, Sec. 

These arguments appear to have had the desired effisct, for 
at the treaty in 1762, France ceded Canada to Great Bri- 
tain, and by the cession of Louisiana at Ijhe same time, rdin- 
qnished all her possessions on the North American continent. 

Mr. Franklin about this time made a journey to Scotland, 
wbithfr his reputation as a philosopher liad preceded him: 
he was greeted by the learned of that country, and the uni- 
^ 1 ■ ■ 

^ Of this name there were four, who tbtained some eminence separately 
and issociated. Edmand Burke the most celebrated of the four, and whose 
history is associated with the two great revolutions of the last century; his 
brother Richard, who became reorder of the city of Bristol; WilliAmBuil» 
tha coQsin of tiiese two, who was for a time secretary to general Conway, 
»ai an army paymaster in India, through whom Edmund receiTed the 
most minute details of those events, whicji enabled him to bring 
Histhigs before the house of lords; the fourth was Richard the son of 
Sdmund, most celebrated aa a confidential agent of the Britii^ govern* 
neat in Ireland, and at the conferences of Pilnitz, in 1791. Edii, 

* See Vol. IV. pagpe 39. . . ■ 

^ I 

196 MEMOIRS or 

versity of St Andrews conferred upon him the degree of 
doctor of laws. Its example was followed by the universities 
of Edinburgh and Oxford. The entries of the honors oob- 
ferred by the latter^ on himself and son, are thus made: 

BXNJA.MIN Feanklin, esq. Provlnc. Pensylvan. DepaUt adConii 
SerenUs. Legat Tabellarioriiun per American Septentrionalem Pncftetu 
Generalis et Veredariorum totius Novae Anglix^ at. R. S. S. cr. B.C. L> 
Apr. 30, 1762, 

FBii^iiKLiNy (William) esq. Juris Mumcip. Consult, cr. M.A.Aiir. 
30, 1762. 

Most of the other learned societies of Europe were equall; 
ambitious of calling him a member^ and nominated bim « 
such: thus he was eventually consoled antl rewarded for tke 
neglect or opposition his discoveries in philosophy had ori- 
ginally experienced. 

Soon after this period, a vacancy in the government of 
.New Jersey having occurred. Dr. Franklin's sod, withoat 
any solicitation whatever on the part of his father, botffOD 
his own personal merits, and in consideration of bis miiittfjr 
services in America during the last war, (backed by thepow- 
erful recommendation of lord Bute,) was appointed govcr- 
nor of that province. 

Governor FrankUn filled this high and honorable sitaiikni 
with equal credit tu himseii and advantage to the provinoey 
till the commencement of the American revolution; wheBf 
unlike most of the governors of the other provinces at W 
eventful period, he remained undismayed at his post, till ke 
was seized by the revolutionary government, conveyed to 
Connecticut, and rigorously detained as a prisoner for neir 
two years, when he was eventually liberated in 1778, in ^' 
change for an American general officer. He retired to Eng- 
land and obtained from the British government a pensioit 
which he enjoyed till his death, in 1813. 

It has been frequently asserted, that Dr. Franklin held out 
every temptation and* inducement to his son to quit his alk* 
giance to Great Britain, and to take part with the colonics 
This was not so: Dr. Franklin made no attempt of fbescaif 
whatever may have beiSii his secret wishes on tbatsobject b 


a letter to his son of Oct 6, 1773,^ he says: << I know your 
sentiipents differ from mine on these subjects. You are atho* 
rough government man^ which I do not wonder zi, nor do I 
oka at cowoirting you, I only wish you to act uprightly and 
steadily, i^voiding that duplicity, which in Hutchinson adds 
Gontempt to Indignation. If you can promote the prosperity 
of yoor people, and leave them happier than you found them, 
whatever your political principles are, your memory \vili be 

During the whole of the American contest, Dr. Franklin 
never had any communication whatever with his son, either 
durectly or Indirectly : but at the close of the war, in answer 
to an overture from him towards a reconciliation^ the father 
thus feelingly expressed his sentiments on his son's late poli- 
ced conduct 

Passy, Mgust 16, 1784. 

** I received your tetter of the ^2d ultimo, and am glad to 
find, that you desire to revive the affectionate intercourse 
that formerly eiusted between us. It will be very agreeable 
to me: udeed nothing has ever hurt me so much, and affect- 
ed me with soch keen sensations, as to 6nd myself deserted 
is my old age, by my only son; and not only deserted, but 
to find him taking up arms^ against me, in a cause wherein . 
my good fame, fortune, and life, were all at stake. Ton con- 
ceiTed, yoo say, that your duty to your king and regard for 
your country required this. I ought not to blame you for dif- 
fering in sentiment with me in public affairs. We are men 
d subject to errors. Our opinions are not in our own pow- 
^; they are formed and governed much by circumstances, 
tint are often as inexplicable as they are irresistible. Your 
sitaation was such, that few would have censured your re- 

ntainiig neuter, Vumgh there are natural duties which precede 

__ ' _m 

* See " Private Coirespondence." 

^ Governor Pnmklin (it is believed) formed and commanded the corpt^ 


poUtieal ane$f and cannot he exHngui$kei bn them. Thk is i 
disagreeable subject: I drop it. And we will endeaTor, asyoi 
propose, mutually to forget what has happened rdatingtoit, 
as well as we can. I send your son over to pay his dutj to 
you. You will find hiai much improved. He is greatly es- 
teemed and beloved in this country, and will make bis wtf 
any where, &c." 

In the summer of 1762, Dr. Franklin returned toPUIa* 
delphia, and shortly after received the thanks of the aswin- 
bly of Pennsylvania, ^ as wtU for the faithfid dUeharp^f 
hU duti/ to that province m partietdar, aef&r the monjf and in* 
partatd services done to America in general^ during his rea- 
dence in Great Britain^' A compensation of five thousand 
pounds Pennsylvania currency, wa^ also decreed him forUi 
services during six years. Even in his absence he bad ksea 
annually elected a member of the assembly of representa- 
tives of the province, and he again took his seat in that bodf) 
and continued his exertions for the liberties and weltee rf 
the country. 

In December, 1762, considerable alarm was oceasione' is 
the province, by what was called the Paxton mwrders, U is 
thus related: <<A number of Indians had resided kitke 
county of Lancaster, and conducted themselves uniformlf >0 
friends to the white inhabitants. Repeated depredations on 
the frontiers, had exasperated the inhabitants to such a de- 
gree, that they determined on revenge upon every Mian. 
A number of pei*sons, to the amount of about one hondrri 
and twenty, principally inhabitants of Donnegal and Feck- 
stang, or Paxton, township, in the county q( Ttfrki assem- 
bled; and, mounted on horseback, proceeded to thesetdeiM^ 
of these harmless and defenceless Indians, whose nuBiber 
had now been reduced to about twenty. The Indians^ ^ 
cetved intelligence of the attack which was intended a^'"^ 
them, but disbelieved it: considfring the white people as tbeir 
friends, they apprehended no danger from them. When ths 
party arrived at the Indian settlement, they found only some 
women and children, and a few old men, the r^ ^^^ ^ 


sent at work. They murdered all whom they founds and 
aiBongst others the chief ShahtaSf who liad always been dis- 
tinguished for bis friendship to the whites. This bloody deed 
excited much indignation in the well-disposed part of the 

** The remainder of these unfortunate Indians^ who by ab* 
sence had escaped the massacre, were conducted to Lancas- 
ter, Mid lodged in the gaol as a place of security. The go- 
Tenor of Pennsylvania issued a proclamation, expressing 
the strongest disapprobation of the action, olBering a reward 
for the discovery of the perpetrators of the deed, and pro- 
hibiting all injuries to the peaceable Inhabitants in future. 
Bot notwithstanding this, a party of the same men shortly 
alter marched to Lancaster, broke open the gaol, and inhu- 
manly butchered the innocent Indians who had been placed 
there for security. Another proclamation was issued, but it had 
no effect A detachment marched down to Philadelphia, for the 
express purpose of mnrdering some friendly Indians, who h^d 
keen removed to the city for safety. A number of the citizens 
armed in their defence. The Quakers, whose principles are op- 
posed to lighting, even in their own defence; were most active 
OB this occasion. The rioters came to Germantown, within five 
miles of Philadelphia. The governor fled for safety to the house 
of Dr. Franklin, who, with some others, advanced, to meet 
ihePaa:tofi-iciy9, as they were called, and had influence enough 
to prevail upon them to relinquish their undertakings and re- 
turn to their homes.*' — Dr. Franklin wrote a pamphlet on this 
occasion, wkich had a considerable effect, in soothing the pas- 
aioBB, and restoring tranquillity. His services, however, were 
hat ill requited by the governor, who was, as well as the 
province, under great obligations to his active and success- 
hl exertions^ * 

The disputes between the proprietaries and the assembly, 
which had so long agitated the province, and which had for 
ft tihie subsided, were again revived, and are thus accounted 


« The proprietaries were discontent at the 
made in favor of the people^ and again exerted thenuaelvesto 
recover the privilege of exempting their own estates frosi 
taxation^ which they had been induced^ with great reluctancey 
to relinquish. v 

«( In 176$^ the, assembly passed a Militia BUI, to which tho 
governor refused to give his assent^ unless the aasemblj • 
would agree to certain amendments which he proposed* 
These consisted in increasing the fines^ and in some cases 
substituting death for fines. He wished^ toot that the oficen 
sliould be appointed altogether by himself^ and not nomiiia- 
ted by the peoplCf as the bill had proposed. These ameiid- 
ments the assembly considered as inconsistent with the spirit 
of liberty: they would not adopt them^ the governor was oh- 
stinate^ and the bill was lost" 

These and various other circumstances* increased the on* 
easiness which subsisted between the proprietaries and the 
assembly to such a degree, that in 1764, a petition to the 
king was agreed to by the house* praying an alteratioo bom 
a proprietary to a regal government The following draagfat 
of the same was found in Dr. Franklin's papers: 

To the king's most excellent majesty* in counctl» 
The petition of the representatives of the freemen of the pro* 
vince of Pennsylvania in general assembly met^ 
]tf ost humbly sheweth* 

« That the government of this province by proprittariop 
has by long experience been found inconvenient* attended 
with many difficulties and obstructions to your majesty's ser- 
vice* arising from the intervention of proprietiu7 private 
interest in public affairs* and disputes concerning those ia- 

. «< That the said proprietary-government is weak* unaUe ts 
suppoi*t its own authority* and maintain the common internal 
peace of the province* great riots having lately arisen there- 
in* armed mobs marching from place to place* andcommittiag 
violent outrages and insults on the government with impuni- 
ty* to the great terror of your majesty's subjects. And these 


cv8s are not likely to receive any remedy here, the contiDU.iI 
rfbpotf s between the proprietaries and people^ and their mu- 
tnl jealousies and dislikes preventing. 

** We do therefore, most humbly pray, that your majesty 
'woidd be graciously pleased to resume the government of this 
province, making such compensation to the proprietaries for 
the same as to your majesty's wisdom and goodness shall ap* 
pear just and equitable, and permitting your dntifnl subjects 
theretn to enjoy, under your majesty's more immediate care 
tod prvCection, the privileges that have been granted to them 
hj and under your royal predecessors. 

« By order of the house," 

Great opposition was made to this measure, not only in the 
knase, but in the public prints. A speech of Mr. Dickinson 
00 the subject was published with a preface by Dr. Smith, 
IB which g;reat pains were taken to show the impropriety 
lAil impolicy of this proceeding. A speech of Joseph Gallo- 
way, esquire, in reply to Mr. Dickinson, was also published, 
accompanied by a preface by Dr. Franklin, in which he ably 
apposed the principles laid down in the preface to Mr. Dick- 
inson's speech. Among other pointed remarks, Dr. Franklin 

<<Iii the constitution of our government, and in that of one 
Biore, there stiH remains a particular thing that none of the 
otlier American governments have; to wit, the appointments 
rf a governor by the proprktor$9 instead of an appointment 
by ti» crown. This particular in government has been found 
inconveiiknt; attended with contentions and confusions 
ivbefever it existed; and has therefore been gradually taken 
away from colony aOer colony, and every where greatly to 
the satisfaction and happiness of the people. Our wise first 
proprietor and founder*^ was fully sensible of this; and being 
desirous ef leaving bis people happy, and preventing the mis^ 
driab that ho foresaw must arise from that circumstance, if 


vol.. J. Dd 

£0£ MfiMOIES or 

it was continued^ he determinod to take it away» if 
daring his own life-time. They accordingly entered iaia s 
contract for the sale of the proprietary right of 
to the crown i and actually received a sum in part of the i 
sideration. As be found himself likely to die bdbre ttat \ 
tract (and with it his plan for the happiness of his people) 
could be completed} he carefully made it a part of his last 
will and testament; devising the right of the government to 
two noble lords^ in trusty that they should release it to fh» 
crown. Unfortunately for us» tliis has never yet been done. 
And this is merely what the assembly now desire to have 
done. Surely he that formed our constitution, must have en- 
derstood it. If he had imagined that all our privikges de- 
pended on the proprietary government, will any one auppMo a 
that he woidd himself have meditated the change; that he 
would have taken such effectoal measures as he thoeght 
them, to bring it about speedily^ whether he shodd live 
or die! Will any of those who now extol him so higlilyy 
charge him at the same time with the baseness of eedea- 
voring thus to defraud his people of all the liberties uad pri* 
vUeges he had promised them, and by the most solemn char- 
ters and grants assured to them, when he engaged them to 
assist him in the settlement of his province? Surdy none 
can be so inconsistent! — And yet this proprietary right of 
governing or appointing a governor, has all of a sodden 
changed its nature; and the preservation of it become of se 
much importance to the welfare of tlie province, that the as- 
sembly's only petitioning to have their venerable foante^ 
will executed, and the contract he entered into for the good 
of his people ccimpleted, is styled an « attempt to Tiolato the 
^constitution for which our fathers planted a wiMemess; la 
< barter away our glorious plan of public liberty and cheHir 
'privities; a risking of the whole constitution; an offering 
«np our whole charter rights; a wanton sporting with limgB 
« sacred,^ &c.'* 

In addition to the preface just mentioned. Dr. Fraeklki 
. wrote a pamphlet, entitled <« Cool Thoughts,*^ tending to pro- 


note tiie saioe views. The assembly's application to the throne 
hoipevery prodaced no effect^ and the proprietary govem- 
sent ranained unchanged. 

At llie election for a new assemblyy in the autumn of 1764, 
the fkiends of the proprietaries made great exertions to ex- 
dnde tiiose of the adverse party; and they obtained a small 
majority in the city of Philadelphia. Dr. Franklin on this 
oocasioii lost his seat in t' e^hoose^ which he had held for 
fiittrteen years. On the meeting of the asseniblyy i owever* it 
■qipeared that there was still a decided majority of his friends^ 
and he was again appointed to resume his agency at the . 
comrC of Great Britain, to the great chagrin of his enemies, 
who made a solemn protest against his appointment f but 
whieh was refased admissien upon the minutes» as being un- 
pieoedented. It was, however, published in the papers, and 
predooed a spirited reply, from him, entitled « Remarks on 

Hie opposilSon made to his re-appointraent seems greatly 
to have affected his feelings; as it came from men with whom 
he had long been connected, both in public and private life, 
^ the Tfff ashes of whose former Jriendskipf*^ he declared, 
** he revered/^ His pathetic fun*wel to Pennsy.xania, in the 
paUkation abovementioned, the day before his departure, is 
a atrong proof of the agitation of his mind on this occasion. 

<« I am now,^' says he, << to take leave (perhaps a last 
leave) of the country I love, and in which I have spent the 
greatest part 'of my life. Seto perpetual^^l wish every kind 
of pvMperify to mj friends, and I forgive my enemies.** 

Aa eieqaent divine^ has observed on this occasion, « That 
mtiet whatsoever circumstances this second embassy was 
aadertakea, it appears to have been a measure pre-ordained 
in the oooncils of Heaven ; and it will be for ever remember- 
ed to the honor of Pennsylvania,, that the agent selected to 
assert and defend tlie rights of a single province at the court 
of Great Britain, became the bold asserter of the ric^hts of 

■ Dr. William Smith, ProTOSt of PhiUdelphia CoUe^^. 


America in general^ and beholding tbe fetters that were tagg^ 
ing for her» conceived the magnanimous thought of rendiv 
them asunder before they could be rivetted." 

The disturbances produced in America by Mr. <xi«Byili^s 
Stamp dct, and the opposition made to it are well known. 
But the origin thereof has generally been misttnderatood* 
The following letter from Dr. Franklin on that sttbject» witt 
correct some of tbe misrepresentations relative tberetoi 

To TFUliam Mtxandttf Esq* 

Pass^f March 1 2, 1 TTS. 

. DeabSir, 

IN the pamphlet you were so kind as to lend me, fliers is 
one important fact mis-stated, apparently from tbe writer^s 
not having been furnished with good information; it is Ike 
transaction between Mr. Greuville and the colonies* whcrcia 
be understands that Mr. Grenville demanded of them n a|ie- 
clfic sum, that they refused to grant any things and tiutf it 
was on their refusal only that be made a mc^ion for the 8tamp 
Act Mo one of these particulars is true. The fact was tbm» 

Some time in the winter of 17G3-4, Mr. Grenville caUed 
together the agents of tbe several colonies, and tdd them tbftt 
he purposed to draw a revenue from America, and to fliaft tad 
his intention was to levy a stamp duty on the colonies by act 
of parliament in the ensuing session, of which he tliofiglitit 
fit that they should be immediately acquainted, that tiiey 
might have time to consider, and if any otiier duty eqfually 
productive would be more agreeable to them, they migktkt 
him know it. The agents were therefore directed to write 
this to their respective assemblies, and communicate to hSm 
the answers they should receive: the agents wrote accord* 

I was a member in the assembly of Pennsylvania, when 
^ this notification came to hand. The observations tliere made 
upon it were, that the antient, established, and regular me- 
thod of drawing aids from the colonics was this. The occa- 


\ was alwajs first considered by their sovereign in his 
Tfrifj cooncily by whose sage advice^ he directed his secre- 
tary of state to write circular letters to the several gover- 
norSy who were directed to lay them before their assemblies, 
la.tbose letters the occasion was explained for their satisfac- 
tion^ with gracious expressions of his majesty's confidence in 
tbeir known duty and affection, on which he relied, that they 
would grant such sums as should be suitable to their abilities, 
feyal^, and zeal for bis service. That the colonies bad al- 
ways granted liberally on such requisitions, and so liberally 
during the late war, that the king, sensible they had granted 
nrach more than theii|; proportion, had recommended it to 
pariiament five years successively, to make them some com- 
pensation, and the parliament accordingly returned them two 
hundred thousand pounds a- year to he divided among them. 
That the proposition of taxing them in parliament, was there- 
fore both cruel and unjust^ That by the constitution of the 
cdonies their business was with the kiilg in matters of aid, 
thej.had nothing to do with any financier, nor he with them; 
nor were the agents the proper channels through which re- 
qoiflilions should be made; it was therefore improper for them 
to enter into any stipulation, or make any prt)position to Mr. 
Grenvilie about laying taxes on their constituents by parlia- 
nent, w^ich had really no right at all to tax them, especially 
as the notice he had sent them did not appear to be by tho 
king's order, and perhaps was without his knowlege; as the 
kiag, when he would obtain any thing from them, always ac- 
coD^anied his requisition with good words, but this gentle- 
num, instead of a decent demand sent them a menace, that 
they should certainly be taxed, and only left them the choice 
of the manner. But all this notwitlistanding, they were so 

far from refusing to grant money, that they resolved to the 


• *• There is neither kinr, nop sovereign lord on earth, who has beyond 
his own domain, power tAay one farthing on the subjects, wthout the 
pvkX and consent of those who i^ay it; unless he does it by tyranny and 
violeote.'* (Philippe de Commirtes, chap. 108.) 


followini; purpose: « That tt^ey always bad^ so they alvtji 
should, think it their duty to grant aid to the crown, accord- 
ing to their abilities, whenever required of them in the lunl 
constitutional manner/' I went soon after to En^and^aiil 
took with roe an authentic copy of this resolution, which I 
presented to Mr. Orenville before he broaght in the Staiif 
Act I asserted in the house of commons (Mr. GrenTiUe k^ 
ipg present) that I bad done so, and he did not deiij it 
Other colonies made similar resolutions* And had Mr. 
Grenville, instead of that act, applied to t e king in cowicii 
for such requisitional letters to be circulated by thesecntaiy 
of state, I an[i sure he would have obtained more money bm 
the colonies by their voluntary grants, than he himself n* 
pected from his stamps. But he chose compulsion rather tlw 
perouasion, and would not receive from their good-wiU wbft 
he thought he could obtain without it And thus the goUtt 
bridge which the ingenious author thinks the Americans w« 
wisely and unbecomingly refused to hold out to the oiiiuBter 
and parliament, was actually held out to them, but theyi*' 
fused to Walk over it This is the true history of that tmu- 
action; and ^s it is proKable there may be another editioiof 
that excellent pamphlet^ I wish this may be commmicitod 
to the candid author, who I doubt not will correct that error. 
I am ever, with sincere esteem, dear sir, your most ohe* 
dicnt, humble servant, B. FRANKLIN* 

Dr. Franklin strenuously exerted himself to free Amtfid 
from this odious tax 5 the principal objection to which wasi 
that it was imposed by a British parliament, which the Am^ 
ricans asserted had no right to tax them. Dr. FrfinUui flMtf 
expresses his sentimentis 00 the subject, in a letter to a trim 
dated London, January 6, 1766: 

«In my own private judgment, I think an immediatB 
repeal of the Stamp Act would be the best measure for ttti 
country; but a suspension of it for thr«e years, the bestfiv 
that. The repeal would fill them with joy and gratitude^ ^ 
establish their respect and veneration for pariiameot, re^^ 


at once tbehr antient and natural love for this country, and 
tiMir regard for every thing that conies from it hence; the 
trade would be renewed in all its branches; they would again 
indulge in all the exiiensive superfluities you supply them 
witb^ and their own new assumed home industi7 would lan- 
guish. But the 9U9penmn, though it might continue their 
fears and anxieties, would at tlie same time keep up their re- 
aolations of industry and frugality; which in two or three 
years would grow into habits, to their lasting advantage. 
However, as the repeal will probably not now be agreed to, 
from what I now think a mistaken opinion, that the honor 
aad dignity of government is better supported by persisting 
in a wrong measure once entered into, than by rectifying an 
error as soon as it is discovered; we mustMllow the next best 
thing for the advantage of both countries is, the suspension. 
Far as to executing the act by force, it is madness, and will 
be ruin to tiie whole.^ 

Contrary to Dr. Franklin's surmise, shortly after the date 
of this letter, it began to appear expedient to the administra- 
tioiiy then under the marquis of Rockingliam, to endeavor to 
calm the minds of the cobnists; and the repeal of the 8iamp 
Tax was contemplated. Amongst other means of collecting 
information on the disposition of the people to submit to it. 
Dr. Franklin was (Feb. 3, 1766,) «< ordered to attend the 
committee of the whole house of commons, to whom it was 
referred to consider Airthcr the several papers relative to 
America, which were presented to the house by Mr. Secretary 
Conway, Jcc.'^p It contains a striking account of the extent 
and accuracy of Dr. Franklin's information, and the facility 
and manliness witli which he communicated his sentiments. 
He represented facts in so strong a point of v4cw, that the 
inexpediency of the act must have appeared clear to every un<- 
prejudiced mind. 

Feb. 24. The resolutions of the committee were reported 
by the chairman, Mr. Fuller; their sevenih and last resolu- 

» See VoL lY. of this edition, page 109. 


tion setting fortli, " that it was their opinion that the ham 
be movefl, that leave be given to bring In a bill to Teped&t 
Stamp MV* A proposal for i*e-ronimittiiig this resolutioiif 
yiTkS negatived by two hundred and forty votes to one hiindred 
land thirty-three: and the act, after some opposition^ was re- 
I>ealed about a year after it was enacted, and before it bad 
ever been carried into exeeution.^i 

*- ■ ■■ ' " ■ "^- ■■ ••; ■ — ^— -^- ..■■■.. ■ .-.., .. , ■ ■ —>.— ^g» 

« A ludicrous caricature was published on this occasion, of which the 
following description was giveoy annexed thereto : 
'M9 Account of a humorous poUtical Print , called The Repeal; «Ucft(f4 
tJie Painters* phrfise) may be called A Companion to the Tomb^stODCi t 
Print not long since published. 

** The subject of Jhis print is the Funeral of Miss Ame Stamp, the 

. favorite child and youngest daughter of the honorable Mr. Ge^tp 
Stamp,^ the well-known Gentle Shepherd. At one end of the print sUads 
the Famihf Vaidt, with a mutilated inscription, signifying that 'vitlwlt 

lie (it is to be hoped never to rise again) the remains af HeaiA 

Mon«», Ship Mon*S Excise B»»% Jew B"*, 

Gen*»»* Warrants, ...... &c.''On the top of the vault are two hctdion 

poles, like those on Temple Bar, marked on the skull with the nmnlw* 
1715 and iW.a The vault is supposed to be situated on the side of tic 
river, along the Strand of which the funeral procession proceeds. T^ 
Reverend Mr. A m t iSej a vus, 3 that noted CmutittUimaUstt drawntothe 
life, appears first, reading the burial service : filer him follow those two 
eminent pillars of the law, sir Bullface Doublefee* and Mr. Akstmder 
Scotsbttm,^ supporting two black flags; on which are delineated tbe 

'Stamps, with the vhite rose and thistle interweaved, with the old moUoof 
Semper eadem,- to which lb annexed a new motto, consisting of tliwe«P 
nificant words. Three Farthings taken from the budlgei. Beneath this art- 

^ to^as if meant to certify the number of the despicable timwrit$ fighting 
under these banners, appear on one flag the figures 71, and on the other 
122, witli a flying label surroimding both, bearing these words, AUrf* 
Stamp. Next appears the sad father of the deceased child, the boiifi»' 
ble Mr. George Stamp himself, with gcief and despair pictured on w» 
countenance, carrying in his arms the infant's coffin, on which is vritttf 

• J>fi« Ame Stamp, born 1765, died 1766.' Imipediately after folio** 
the chief mourner, Sejanus.- then his Grace of Spitaljields^ s»d Lord 

1 The Right Honorable George Grenville, author of the Stamp Act 
2 Years of rebellion. » Mr. Scott. * Sir Fletcher NorlW' 

« Mr. Alexander Wedderbum (afterwards Lord Loughborough.) 

• (Perhaps) the Duke of Bedford. 


Dr. Franklin about this period, in addition to his agency 
for Pennsjlyaniaf received the separate appointments of agent 
for the respectiye colonies of New Jersey, Georgia, and Mas- 
sachusetts. All of which be continued to fill with equal credit 
to himself and advantage to his constituents, during bis stay 
in England. 

In the course of this year (1766) he visited Holland and 
Germany, and received the greatest marks of attention and 
respect fi-om men of science in those countries. In his pas- 
sage through Holland, he learned from the watermen the, 
effect which a diminution of the quantity of water in canals 
has. In impeding the progress of boats. Upon his return to 
England he was induced to make a number of experiments, 
which tended to confirm the observation. These, with an ex- 
planation of the phenomenon, he communicated in a letter to 
his friend sir John Pringle, w*hich will be found among his 
philosophical writings. 

Gttmheef'i tfter these Jemmy Twitcher^'^ /Witiv a catch hy way of fuAeral 
anthem; and by his side his friend and partner Mr. Falconer Dmaldavn 
•f BdHfax. At a little distance, to close the procession, are two worthy 
B****ps» Dr. JRTntrfy.and another rig^ht rererend gentleman, who shaU be 
moneless: and behind them ||b on thb side of the rirer, two huge bales 
of returned commodities, oq^ marked Stampe from *^%merica, the other 
Black ClolA frem Ameriea, 
** These /w mourners are separated from the joyful scene that appears 
, In the back ground, by the River Thamea, in which are riding three first- 
rate ships, called, The Rockingh am,^ The Gkaftox,^ aiid The Cow- 
way.' Along the shore stand open warehouses for the several goods of 
o«r prindpal manufkcturing towns, from which cargoes are how ship- 
pii^ for Jtmerica,' among these is a large case, containing a ttatue of Mr. 
PxTTy which is heaving on board a boat number 250; and there is another 
boat taldng in goods, nearer the lirst-rates, which is numbered 105; num- 
bers which wiU ever remain sacred to libert}^ and render the memory of 
the triumidiant Majosxt y, on this nde of the river, revered by our latest 

1 (Perhaps) Lord Gower. ' Lord Sandwich. ' The Mar- 

qnis of Rockingham. ^ The Duke of Crtafton. ' Mr. Secre- 

tary Conwi^. 

VOL. I. E 

210 Mli^MurR» OF 

In the following year^ as also in 1769, he visited Paris, 
where he was no less favorably received than he had been in 
Crermany* He was introduced to the king (Louis XY.) and 
bis sisters Mesdames de France, and particular^ distinguish-' 
ed by them : as he was also by the Academy of Sciences (of 
which he was aiierwards elected a foreign associate,') and 
many other scientific and literary characters. 

Mons. Dubourg, a member of the same academy nnder- 
took a French translation of Dr. Franklin's letters on Us 
discoveries in Electricity, and the third English edition of the 
same work was now published in London^ With respect to the 
general merit and originality of the experiments and hypo- 
theses of Dr. Franklin, as described and explained in these 
letters, that eminent natural philosopher, the late Dr. Priest- 
ly, bears the following testimony in his ** History of Eke- 

«< Nothing was ever written upon the subject of electricity, 
which was more generally read and admired in all parts of 
Europe than tliese letters. There is hai*dly-any European 
language into which they have not been translated ; and, as 
if this were not sufficient to make them properly known, a 
translation of them has lately been made into Latin. It is not 
easy to say, whether we are roost |%tised with the simplicity 
and perspicuity with which these letters are written^ the 
modesty with which the author proposes every hypothesis of 
his own, or the noble frankness with whicli he relates his mis^ 
takes, when they were corrected by subsequent experiments. 

^'Though tiie English have not been backward in acknow* 
leging the great merit of this philosopher, he has had the 
singular good fortune to be, perhaps, even more celebrated 
abroad than at home; so that, to form a just idea t>f the 
great and deserved reputation of Dr. Franklin, we must 
read the foreign publications on the subject of electricity; in 
many of which the terms FrafikUnism, FrankUnist, and tbe 

f fitec PoBtnripi of letter to gorcrnor Fmnklin, August 22, 1772. 

BBirjAMlir VBAKKUV. 211 

Franklinian sfstem, occur in almogt eTery page. In conse- 
qoence of this. Dr. Franklin's principles bid fair to be banded 
dowii to posterity as equally expressive of the true princi- 
pies of electricity, as tbe Newtonian philosophy is of the true 
system of nature in general.'' > 

As Di^. Franklin has only mentioned his electrical discoTe- 
ri(s in a very transient way, in the former part of these me- 
noirs, and as they are of a most important and interesting 
Ditore, it has been thought a short digression on the subject 
would be excusable, and not void of entertainment For this 
purpose the following account of the same, including the first 
experiment of the Lightning Kite, as given by Dr. Stuber, is 
here given. 

**Dr. Franklin engaged in a course of electrical cxperi^ 
ments, with all the ardor and thirst for discovery which cha-* 
racterized tbe philosophers of that day. Of all the branches of 
experimental philosophy. Electricity had been least explored. 
The attractive power of amber is mentioned by Theopbrastus 
and Pliny, and, from them, by later naturalists. In the year 
1600, Gilbei*t, an English physician, enlarged considerably 
tbe catalogae of substances which have the property of attract- 
ing light bodies. Boyle, Otto Guericke, a burgomaster of 
Magdeburg, (celebrated as the inventor of the air pump,) 
Br. Wall, and sir Isaac Newton, aidded some facts. Guericke 
first observed the repulsive power of electricity, and the light 
and noise produced by it. In 1709, Hawkesbee communicated 
80010 important observations and experiments to the worid. 
For several years electricity was entirely neglected, until Mr. 
Grey applied himself to it, in 17£8, with great assiduity. He 
and his friend Mr. Wheeler, made a great variety of experi- 
ments; in which they demonstrated, that electi'icity may be 
communicated from one body to anotlier, even without being 
in contact, and in this way may be conducted to a great dis- 
tance. Mr. Grey afterwards found, that by suspending rods 
of iron by silk or hair lines, and bringing an excited tube 
nnder them, sparks might be drawn, and a light perceived at 
tbe extremities in the dark. M. Du Faye, intendant of the 


French king's gardenSf made a nnmber of experiments, wbicb 
added not a little to the science. He made the discovery of 
two kinds of electricity, which he called vitreouB and rtitims; 
the former produced hj rubbing glass, the latter from exdted 
sulphur, sealing-wax, &c. But this idea he afterwards gsfo 
up as erroneous. Between the years 1739 and 174£, De8a;^ 
Ijers made a number of experiments, but added little of im- 
portance. He first used the terms conductarB and didrkit 
p&rju. 1742, several ingenious Germans engaged in this sub- 
ject Of these the principal were, professor Boze of WitteiD- 
berg, professor Winkler of Leipstc^ Gordon, a Scotch Bes^ 
dictine monk, professor of philosophy at Erfurt, and Dr. 
Ludolf of Berlin. The result of their researches astonisM 
the philosophers of Europe. Their apparatus was large, m' 
by means of it they were enabled to collect large quantities 
of electricity, and thus to produce phenomena which bad beea 
hitherto unobsel-ved. They killed small birds, and 8etfl|Mriti 
CO fire^ Their experiments excited the curiosity of other pkh 
losophers. CoUinson, about the year 1745, sent to the lihruy 
company of Philadelphia an account of these experimeoiB, 
together with a tube, and directions how to use it FrasUiVt 
with some of his friends, immediately engaged in a coarse of 
experiments; the result of which is well known. He wasea- 
abled to make a number of important dtscorertes, and to p^ 
pose theories to account for various phenomena; which bavv 
been universally adopted, and which bid fkir to endure for 
agesp His observations he communicated, in a series ^ i^ 
ters, to his friend Collinson ; the first of which is dated Marcb 
£8, 1747. In these he makes known the power of points la 
drawing and throwing off the electrical matter, wliich baa 
hitherto escaped the notice of electricians. He also made tae 
grand discovery of a plus and minuSf or of ajioait^ ^ 
negoHve state of electricity. We give him the honor of *»•» 
without hesitation; although the English have claimed it Cbt 
their countryman Dr. Watson. Watson'^ paper is dated Jfao- 
21, 1748; Franklin's, July 11, 1747; several months pn*- 
Shortly after,uFranklin, from his principles o{plu8 and tri^ 

B£ir JAHIir nUiHKLtK. 2 1 S 

tfUd»9 explained^ in a satisfactory inanner» the phenomena of 
tlie Leyden phial, first observed by Mr. Cuneus, or by pro* 
fessor Moschenbroeck of Leyden, whicli had much perplexed 
phUosopbers. He showed clearly that the bottle, when charged, 
contained no more electricity than before, but that as much 
was taken from one side as was thrown on the other; and that 
to discharge it, nothing was necessary but to make a com* 
manication between the two sides, by which the equilibrinm 
might be restored, and that then no signs of electricity would 
remain. He afterwards demonstrated by experiments, that the 
electricity did not reside in the coating, as had b^en supposed, 
but in the pores of tiie glass itself. After a phial was charged, 
be removed the coatings and found that upon applying a new 
coating the shock might still be received. In the year ir49» 
be iriit suggested bis idea of explaining the phenomena of 
thunder-gusts and of the aurora borealto, upon electrical 
pniiciples. Qe points out many particulars in which light* 
ning and electricity agree; and he adduces many facts, and 
reaaoiungs from facts, in support of bis positions* In the same 
year be conceived the astonishingly bold and grand idea of 
ascertaining the truth of bis doctrine, by actually drawing 
down the forked lightning, by means of sharp-pointed iron 
rods raised into the region of the clonds. Even in this un- 
certain state, his passion to be useful to mankind displays it- 
self in a powerful manner* MmiiHng the identity of eUctri' 
ctly and Ughlmngf and knowing the power of points in repel- 
ling bodies charged with electricity, and in conducting their 
ire silently and imperceptibly, he suggests the idea of secur- 
ing^ bouses, ships, &c., from being damaged by lightning, by 
erecting pointed iron rods, which should rise some feet above 
the most elevated part, and descend some feet into the ground 
or the water. The effect of these, he concluded, would be 
either to prevent a stroke by repelling the cloud beyond the 
striking distance, or by drawing off the electrical fire which 
it ^contained; or, if they colild not effect this, tbey would at 
least conduct tlie stroke to the earth, without any injury to 
the hullding. 


<< It was not until the summer of 17529 that he was enabM 
to complete his grand and unparalleled discovery by eqeri* 
ment. The plan which he had originally proposed^ mWf to 
erect on some high tower, or other elevated place, a sentiy- 
box, from which should rise a pointed iron rod, insulatodkjr 
being fixed in a calLe of resin* Electrified clouds paasifls 
over this, would, he conceived, impart to it a portion of thdr 
electricity, which would bo rendered evident to the seaseskjr 
sparfcs being emitted, when a key, a knucUe, or other con* 
ductor was presented to it. Philadelphia at this time afforM 
no opportunity of trying an experiment of this kind. Wbibt 
Franklin was waiting for the erection of a spire, it occBrrol 
to him, that he* might have more ready access to ^he rcgkn 
of clouds by means of a common kite. He prepared oae by 
attaching two cross sticks to a silk bandkerchier, wUek 
would not sufier so much from the rain as paper. To lib 
upright stick was affixed an iron point. The string waSf as 
usual, of hemp, except the lower end, which was silk. Where 
the hempen string terminated, a key was GEistened. With ths 
apparatus, on the appearance of a thunder-gust approacbiRgy 
he wont out into the commons, accompanied by ha son, to 
whom alone he communicated his intentions, well knowiag 
the ridicule which, too generally for the interest of scieocef 
awaits unsuccessful experiments in philosophy. He jbcti 
himself under a shed to avoid the rain. His kite was wsA 
A thunder-cloud passed over it. No sign of electricity ap- 
peared. He almost despaired of success; when suddenly he 
observed the loose fibres of his string to move towards an 
erect position. He now presented his knuckle to the kcy^ and 
received a strong spark. How exquisite must his sensatiotf 
have been at this moment! On this experiment depended the 
fate of his theory. If he succeeded, his name would rank 
high amongst those who have improved science; if Ihb faiM 
bo must inevitably be subjected to the derision of mankii^ 
or what is worse, their pity, as a well-meaning man, bat a 
weak, silly projector. The anxiety with which he looked ftr 
the result of his experiment^ may be easily conceived. Dou'* 


9mA despair bad begun to preTail, when the fact was aficer* 
tamed in so clear a roanoer^ that even the most iucredulous 
could BO longer withhold their assent Repeated sparks were 
drawn from the key, a phial was charged, a shock given^ and 
^ the experiments made, which are usually performed with 

«^ About a montli before this period, some ingenious French- 
men bad completed the discovery in the manner originally 
proposed by Dr. Fraiiklin. The Fetters which he sent to Mr. 
Gdlinson, it is said, were refused a place amongst the papers 
of the Royal Society of London. However this may be. Col- 
linaon published them in a separate volume, under the title 
of, JWxc; Bocperimtnts (ami Observations on Electricity f made 
oiFhikdetphias in Smtrica. They were read with avidity,* 
and soon translated into different languages. A very incorrect 
French translation fell into the hands of the celebrated Buffon, 
who^ notwithstanfing the disadvantages under which the work 
labored, was much pleased with it, and repeated the experi- 
ments with success. He prevailed upon his friend, M. D'Ali- 
bard, to give to his countrymen a more correct translation of 
the work of the American electrician. This contributed much 
towards spreading a knowlege of Franklin^s principles in 
France. The king^ Louis XY. hearing of these experiments, 
expressed a wish to be a spectator of them. A course of ex- 
periments was given at the seat of the Doc D^Ayen, at St. 
Germains, by M. De Lor. The applauses whicli the king 
bestowed upon Franklin, excited in Buffon, D'Alibard, and 
De lior, an earnest desire of ascertaining the truth of his 
theory of thunder-gusts. Buffon erected his apparatus on tlie. 
tower of Montbar, M. D^Alibard at Marly-la-ville, and De 
Lor at bis house in the Bstrapade at Paris, some of the higli- 
est ground in that capital. D'Aiibard^s machine first showed 
signs of electricity. On the 10th of May, 1752, a thunder- 
dond passed over it, in the absence of M. D'AIibard; and a 
number of sparks were drawn from it by CoifBer, a joiner, 
with whom D'Alibard had left directions how to proceed, and 
by M^ Raulet, the prior of Marly-la-ville. An account of 


this expei'iment was given to the rojfd academy of sdcBoesy 
in a memoir bj m! D'Alibard^ dated May 13, 1752. Ontte 
l6Ui of May, M. De Lor proved equally successfol with flift 
apparatus erected at his own house. These discoveries Man 
excited the philosophers of other parts of Europe to repot 
the experiment Amongst these, none signalized liinfldf 
more than father Beccaria of Turin, to whose observafionB 
science is mnch indebted. Even the cold regions of Bnsaa 
were penetrated by the ardor for discovery. Professor Rich- 
mann bade fair to add much to the stock of l^nowlege on thv 
subject, when an unfortunate flash from his rod put a ft- 
riod to his existence. The friends of science will long; it- 
member with regret the amiable martyr to electricity. 

** By tliese experiments Franklin's theory was estsblisM 
in the most Arm manner. When the truth of it could no \mfff 
be doubted, the vanity of men endeavored to detract from il9 
merit. That an American, an inhabitant of the obscnre city 
of Philadelphia, the name of which was hardly knowOf 
should be able to make discoveries, and to frame ttieorics, 
which had escaped the notice of the enlightened philosopben 
of Europe, was too mortifying to be admitted. He nn»t cer- 
tainly have taken the idea from some one else. An Aoericany 
a being of an inferior order, make discoveries ! Impossible. It 
was said, that the abbe Nollet, in 1748, had suggested the 
idea of the similarity of lightning and electricity, in his U- 
fon$ de Phyriqnt. It is true tiiat the abbe mentions the idea,* 
but he tiirows it ont as a bare conjecture, and proposes bo 
mode of ascertaining the truth of it. He himself ackno^legesy 
that Franklin Jlrst entertained the bold thought of bringinS 
lightning from the heavens, by means of pointed rods to" 
in the air. The similarity of electricity and lightning is* 
strong, that we need not be surprised at notice being taken 
of it, as soon as electrical phenomena became familiftr* ^^ 
find it mentioned by Dr. Wall and Mr. Grey, whil^the 
science was in its infancy. But the honor of forming a nff^' 
lar theory of thunder-gusts, of suggesting a mode of deter- 
mining the truth of it by experiments, and of patting tbese 


cqMtHBents in practice^ and thus estoblkhing his theory 
wfm a firm and solid hasfs, is incontestibly due to Franklin. 
D'AUbardf who made the first experiments in France, says, 
tkat he oa^ foHowed the track which Franklin had pointed 

<«It has heen of late asserted, that the jionor of com^et^ 
]]« the experiment with the electrical kite, does not belong 
to FianUin. Some late English paragraphs have attributed 
it to some Fr en ch m an , whose name thej do not mention; 
tad the abh6 Bertholon gives it to M. de Romas, assessor to 
tho presideal of M6rac; the English paragraphs probaUy re- 
far to the same person. Bilt a veiy slight attention will con- 
vince as of the injnsticeof this procedure. Dr. Franklin's 
fasfmrnwi was made in June, 1752; and his letter, giving 
m account of it, ie dated Oi^ber 19, 1752. M. De Romas 
mode bis firat attempt on the I4tb of May, 1753, hnt waa 
Mt successful until the 7th of June; a year after Franklin 
haioomikkd Uie discotierj, and whea it was. known to all 
thopbilosqibers in Europe. 

<«Be8ides these great principles, Franklin's letters en elec«> , 
tsidty coDtain a number of fiicts and hints, which, havio con- 
triboted greatly towards reducing thisbranch. of knowlege to 
a acieoce. His friend, Mr.. Kinnersley, communicated to him. 
a diaooveiy or the difierent kinds of electricity excited by rub- 
Vug i^ass and sulphur. This we have said, waa first observed 
by ILBu Faye; but it was for many years neglected. The phi- 
losophers were disposed to account for the phenomena, rather 
from a difTerence in the quantity of electricity collected; and 
evea Du Faye himself seems at last to have adopted this- doc^ 
trine. Franklin at first entertained the same idea; but upon 
rqpeattog tlie experiments, he perceived that Mr. Kinnersley 
^vas light; and that the vUreons and reekunu electricty of Du 
Faye were nothing more than the paeitirae and negative states 
which he had before observed ; that the glass globe charged 
fm&vdyf or increased the quantity of electricity on the 
priiBe conductor, whilst the globe of sulphur diminished itSv 

VOL. T. F f • 

^>ld M£MOIK« OF 

natural quantity, or charged ntgaltvedf. These exprnaento 
and observations opened a new field for investigation, apan 
which electricians entered with avidity; and their labors have 
added much to the stock of our knowlege. 

«In September, ir52, Franklin entered upon a coarse of 
experiments,^ determine the state of electricity in the doods. 
Prom a number of experiments he formed this conclosiso: 
^that the clouds of a thunder-gust are most commosly ia a 
negative state of .electricity, hut sometimes in a perillve 
state;*' and from tliis it follows, as a necessary consequence, 
<<that, for the most part, in thunder-strokes, it is the earth 
that strikes into the clouds, and'ndt the clouds that strike 
into the earth.'* The letter containing these observations is 
dated in September, 1753; and yet tlie discovery of ascend- 
ing thunder has been said to be of a modern data, and has 
been attributed to the abb6 Bertliolon, who publislied his 
memoir on the subject in 1776. 

«^Fk«nklin'8 letters on electricity, have been trandtfed 
into most of the European languages, and into Latim In 
' proportion as they have become known, his principles haive 
been adopted. Some opposition was made to his theories, par- 
ticularly by the abb6 NoUet, who was, however, bat feeUy 
supported, whilst the first philosophers of Europe stepped 
fortti in defence of Franklin's principles; amongst whom 
D'Alibard and Beccaria were the most distinguished. The 
opposition has gradually ceased, knd the Franklinian system 
is now universally adopted, where science flourishes. 

<«The important practical use which Franklin made of Us 
discoveries, the securing of houses from injury by lightoi^, 
has been already mentioned. Pointed conductors are now 
very common in America; but prejudice has hitherto pre- 
vented their general introduction into Europe, notv^ithslaad- 
ing the most undoubted proofs of tlieir utility have been given. 
But Biiuikind can with diificulty be brought to lay aside estab- 
lished practices, or to adopt new ones. And perhaps we have 
nore reason to bo surprised that a practice, however rational^ 
which was proposed aboutforty years ago, should in that tine 

Ji^KjAMiN raAVsxnr. did 

tese beta ad<^)ted in so many places^ than that it baa not nni- 
miaally prerailed. It is only by degrees that the great body 
of mankind can be led into new practices^ however salatary 
tbeir tendency. It is now nearly eighty years since innocula* 
tim was introduced into £im^ and Ammca; .and it is so 
.&r from being general at presenty that it wiil, perhqfts^ re- 
^ttire one or two centuries to render it so/* * 

To rerert to Dr. Franklin's political transactions. His 
esertions and examination before the house of co^imons^ bar- 
11^ greatly contributed to the repeal of the Stamp Jet; he 
now turned his attention towards obtaining the repeal of the 
Jki rettraiiMg the legal tender of paper money in 0^ coUmee; 
.another grievance they complained of. Tiie ministry bad at 
o«e time agreed to the repeal; not so much to serve the cok- 
nie% as from the impression that they nught raise a revenue 
from paper money lent on mortgage^ by the parliament Vf^ 
predating the interest arising therefrom. This notion was 
however removed^ by Dr. ^Franklin's assuring them, that no 
colony would issue money on those terms, and that the advau* 
tage arimg to the commerce of Great Britain in America^ 
from a plentiful currency, would thereby be tost, and the re* 
peal end, if the assemblies were not allowed to 
atipropriate the interest themselves. The measure was after* 
wards drc^t, and the restraint unwisely continued. 

As early as the period of these discussions between Great 
Britain and her colonies, the French government aj^iear to 
have bfs^n to take an interest in their affairs. The circum- 
stance is thus alluded to in a letter of Dr. Franklin to bis 
mwp dated London, Aug. £8, 1767, 

««I>e Guerchy, the Francb ambassador, is gone home, and 
Mors. Dnrfind is left minister plenipotentiary. He is eK- 
tmmAj curious to infdrm himself in the affairs of Americai 
pretonds to have a great esteem for me, on account of the 

• The nme probaWy wlU also be the case with tespect to the r^ueM 
Imoeoiation : tfaoogh undoubtedly its progress has hitherto beta mote 

2^0 MEMOIRS 0¥ 

abilities shown in by examination: has desired tolmTe il 
my political writings; invited me to dine witli him^ wasfeff 
inquisitiye, treated me witli great ciTifityt makes me YhitSi 
&c. I fancy that intriguing nation would Kite teryweDfo 
meddle on this occasion, and blow up the coals betweea GMt 
Britain and her colonies ; but I hope we shall give Aem w 

Dn Franklin was right in his conjectureSf bothishiies 
were not realized ; the opportunity was given^'and tbey srd- 
ed themselves of it, — eminently contributing to the s^an- 
tion of the two countries. 

Certain resolutions of the town of Boston^ respecting tnfc 
and manufactures^ arrived in London about the oommeKX- 
ment of the year 1768^ and occasioned a considerable daiDor; 
they gave Dr. Franklin arid the friends of America greit 
concern: he endeavored by every means to palliate Oeaftir 
by various writings in the newspapers 5 and the discontents of 
the British colonies being much the subject of genenlis- 
cussion at the time, and greatly misunderstood, b^ ?Mi a 
view to elucidate the same, and soften the prevalent anino- 
sliy against America^ vn^te and published (in the Gamk 
of January rib,) a piece signed F— S. intitled ffCaumffH^ 
Jmeriean discontents before 1768/' witii this inscriptkm: 
«« The waroes never rise but when the winds Mow J* trot. 

This short tract, together with his ^< Mswer (in Nov. 
17690 to the queries cf Mr. Strahan,^ (which were probaUj 
made under the dictation of administration,) give tbe test 
account of the then existing complaints of tlie coloniesi flri 
(from their not being attended to,) of the prmifhe caste^ 
the disputes, that produced civil war, and terminated in Mf 
separation from Great Britain.^ These papers, intereatiflg 
for the historian, form in some degree, a coroidemeat to tkK 

* Set also a letter of Dr. Franklin's, On the rite andpi^s^t if tk iff- 
fireneei between Great BrUain and ker .American cohniet f sigBed'*^l*(i^ 
wMertetkehini^andtUlhiedmimme^'* and addressed to the priateref 
tbe Public Advertiser. Private Correspondence, Vol. VI. pi^ 349. 



mmomi and consKtute sulBcient proo& of Jft. Fma^in% 
ouMlor md foresight. 

At tiite time a change of ministry took place^ fo wliich 
ti» American bnstness was taken from lord ShelbMrne, and 
given to lord HiUsboroogh^ as secretary of state for Jmerieaf 
anew distinct apartment There was a talk at the time of 
getting Dr. Franklin appointed under secretary of state for 
tbat department; hot it fell through^ he being considered, too 
much of an An^erican. 

Lord HiHsborough had formerly^ at sundry times^ dis- 
comrsed with Dr. Franklin on the subject of the restraining 
act» relative to papet*-money: the latter now waited on the 
new minister^ in order again to press the repeal of the same; 
M he found he had not altered in the sentiments concerning 
ttf which he entertained wlien at the head of the board of 
tnde, and which still continued adyerse to it. 

Dr. Franklin took this opportnni^ of conversing with bis 
ioniship concerning the particular affair with which he was 
chaiged by his Pennsylvania constituents^ relative to the 
change of government in that province; giving him a detail 
of an the proceedings hitherto^ the delays it had experienced^ 
aad its present situation, ^e promised him he would inquire 
iito the matter^ and would talk with him further upon it: his 
lordship expreased great satisfiustion at the good disposition 
that be said appeared now to be general in America, with 
ngard to the Britisb government, according to his last ad- 
vim; and added, that he had by his majesty's order, written 
the BMBt holding letters to the several governors, whick if 
dKywn to. the assemblies^ as he supposed they would be, could 
not hut conftrm that good disposition. 

lliese oq^tations were not however realized : the Ameri* 
cans b^gan to be semihle of their own consequence, and the 
inhabitants of Boston, at a public meeting on the 27th Octo* 
^9 1767, entered into a variety of resolutions for encounaig- 
oig numnfactnres, promoting economy, and restraining the 
asB of foreign superfluities. These resdutions, all of wMdi 
were highly prejudicial to the trade of Great Britain^ con^ 

taiaed a loi^ list of articteB which it was either ( 
not to use at ally or at least in the smallest .posaiUe i 
ties, A siibscr^tioo was opened at the same timc^ and a i 
jnittee appointed^ for the increase of their old raannfiMtorcsy 
and Uie establishment of new ones. Among other thisgiit 
^as determined to givD particular encouragement to themsk- 
ing of paper, glass» and otiier commodities that were liaUe 
to the payment of the new dotiefli upon iraportntioR. Itvas 
also resolved to restrain the expense of funerah^ to rriaoe 
dress to a degree of primitive simplicity and ^aianeai^ aad 
in general not to purchase any commodities firom the moOut 
country that could be procured in any of the colonies. 

All these resolutions wei« either adopted, or similar en^ 
entered into, by most if not all the other colonies on the cm* 

Though the colonies never pretended an ezemi^itti 
contributing to the common expensui necessary to the 
perity of the empire, they continued to assert that haviq| 
parliaments of their own, and not having r^reaeatativeiiB 
that of Great Britain, their own parliaments were the o^J 
proper judges of what they could and ought to coatribiils ia 
tlds case; and that the English parliament had no right to 
take their money without their consent. They considered the 
British empire not as a single state, but as oompreheadh^ 
many; and though the parliament of Great Britain bad aito- 
gated to itself the power of taxing the coIonieSf it had ■• 
more right to do so, tlian it had to tax Hanovw: both cooa- 
tries had the same kuig, but not the same legislatures. Hn 
AflMricans conceiving their rights thus established, were de» 
termtned to maintain tbcm; and they accordinj^y <9po8ed to 
tfie acts of a venal court, resolved to subjugate them to it$ 
authority, that calm, steady perseverance, worthy of msa 
who were determined to be free. 

In 177S, lord Hillsborough gave in his resignation, occa> 
atoned, as was sanposed, from some mortiflcatton he had Mr 
perienoed, or the evident dislike of the kiQg to his adaMoto- 
tration, which he conceived had tended to weaken the alfa> 


ttoud nqpect of tte cdkmies for a royal government— a 
MMiBent which Dr. Pranhlia had taken every proper means 
t&encoaragef by the communication of smtable information 
and convincing pMiob derived from America. Bat the doc-^ 
IMT was not only inetnimental in the dismissal of this minis* 
tfiTy htft perhaps in the appointment of bis successor: for oom- 
ffauning (st lord Hittsboroogh one day at coart» to a person 
tf eonsiderahle influence, that person toM him» that the Ame- 
liesRS were represented by his lordship as an unquiet people^ 
sot easily satisfled with any ministry; that however it was 
thesghtteo much occasion had been given them to dislike the 
praenti and be asked him, whether, in case he should bo 
iMoved, he codd name another likely to be more acceptsp 
Ue to the colonies? Dr. Franklin instantly replied, « Yes, 
there is lord Dartmouth — ^we liked him very well when be 
wm at the head of the board formerly, and in all probability 
Aoakl sgain/' This was probably reported: what influence 
it Bty have bad is nncwtain; but shortly after lord Dart* 
nonth was actually appointed to succeed lord Hillsborough, 
to the great satisfaction of all ttie friends of America. 

Dr. IVanklin, it appears, had about this Ume a strong in- 
diaulion to return to America, tlioogh well pleased with his 
Rodeace in England, where, as he writes to his son, << No- 
tfckig can be more agreeable than my situation, more espe* 
ciily as I hope for less embarrassment from tiie new ad-* 
nisifltratiott* A general respect paid me by the learned, a 
mAer of friends and acquaintance among them, with whom 
I have a pleasing intercourse ; a character of so much weight, 
that it has protected me wlien some in power would have done 
me injury, and continued me in an ofllce« they would have 
deprived me of; my company so much desired, that I seldom 
dhia at home in winter, and could spend the whole summer 
ia the country-houses of inviting friends if I chose itr Leai*n- 
ed and ingenious foreigners tiiat come to England, almost all 
ittke a point of visiting me (fos my reputation is still higiier 

■ Dopnty postmaster-general of America. 

f^^4 MEMOIRS or 

abroad than Tmrt); several of the foreign aoibaflBadon km 
aasidaously caltiTated mj acquaintance, treating men «■» 
of their cof^s, partly I believe from the desire th^ have fimi 
time to time of hearing something of American affair% n 
object become of importance in foreign courts, who bcfiiii 
lM>pe Britain's alarming power will be diminisbid by te ^ 
fection of her cdonies; and partly, that they may lure «i 
opportunity of introducing roe to tlie gentlemen of thiir 
country who desire it. The king too has latdy been hearito 
apeak of me with n^gard. These are flattering circamstaicei; 
but a violent longing for home aometimea seises me, whick I 
can no otherwise subdue, but by promising myself aietan 
next spring, or next autumn, and so forth. As to retmiv 
hither, if I once gd back, I have no thoughts of it I aatM 
far advanced in life to propose three voyages more.^ I knt 
some important affairs to settle at home, and considoraviT 
double expenses here and there, I hardly think ny sakini 
fully compensate the disadvantages. The late chnagbf hiv* 
ever, (of the American minister) being thrown into the hr 
lance, determines me to stay another winter.'' 

Lord Dartmouth had heretofore expressed great pamiil 
regard for Dr. Franklin, who now found himself opeivaT 
good terms with this new minister. * 

As an explanatory introduction to a transactkn of mtA 
interest and importence in the annals of Dr. FnakKaf 
which made a considerable noise at this time, (l77M*)vA 
which has not hitherto been* satisfactorily devefeped Id the 
public, it may be proper to revert a few years back to Ae 
history of the colony of Massachusetts; for which pniM 
the following short sketch, from an unknown hand, is »^ 

▼ NottVllhstandins^, after Dr. Franklin's return to America, in the 
spring of t775t the wellkre of hii country agun induced him to cfois 
the Atlantic in 1776, and undertftl^ at the age of aeventy^one, iaba^ 
and expoied to be captured by the dhemy, a winter's Toyage* to Fnaoe; 
whence he had again to cross the Atlantic in his return horoei in 17S5> 
being then in his eightieth year. 


M Fran the royal and ministerial assurances gi?en in faTor 
ef America in the year 1769f the subsequent repeal in 1770, 
ef liTe-MXtbs of the duties which had been imposed in 17^7, 
together with the renewal of the mercantile intercourse be- 
tween Great Britain and her colonies, many hoped that the 
contention between the two countries was finally closed. In 
ill the provinces excepting Massachusetts, appearances seem* 
cd to favor that opinion. Many incidents operated there to 
ih» prqodice of that harmony which had began elsewhere to 
ntarn. The stationing a military force among them was a 
permanent source of uneasiness. The royal army had been 
brsQght thither with the avowed design of enforcing submis- 
sion to the mother country. Speeches from the throne, and 
addresses from both bouses of pariiament, had taught ihem 
to look upon the inhabitants as factious turbulent citizens, 
who aimed at throwing off all subordination to Great Bri- 
tain; they on the other hand were accustomed to look upoa 
tin soUiery as instruments of tyranny, sent on purpose to 
dragoon them out of their liberties. Mutual insults and pro- 
vocations were the consequence. 

<< On the evening of the 5th of March, 1770, a tumult be- 
twoen the town's-people and a party of the soldiers took 
place. Id tliis the latter fired on the former and killed "seve- 
ndof them.. Moderate men interposed and prevented a ge- 
Mnd carnage. The events of tliis tragical night sunk deep 
in the minds of the citizens. The anniversary of it was ob- 
aarred with great solemnity. Their ablest speakers were suc- 
ceaaively employed to deliver an annual oration, to preserve 
the remembrance of it fresh in their minds. On these occa- 
aioas, the blessings of liberty — the horrors of slavery— and 
a variety of such popular topics were displayed in elegant 
language, and presented to the public view in their most 
pleasing or most hideous forms. 

^ The obstacles to returning harmony, which have already 
been mentioned, were increased by making the judges in 
Massachusetts independent of the province. Formerly they 

VOL. I. Gg 


Uad been paid by yearly grants from the assembly; hni bm 
the year 1772^ Peter Oliver, the chieC justice of the sip^ 
rior court, received his salary from tlie crown. This vwit- 
scnted by the assembly as a species of briberyAteodingto 
bias his judicial determinations in favor of the motiier con- 
try. They made it the foundation of an impeachpieBtj M 
this produced no otlier consequence than a dissolution of t^ 
assembly which prosecuted the uncourtly measure* 

^< A personal animosity between governor BemArdfite' 
tenant-governor Qutchinson, and some distinguished putfMi 
in Massachusetts, contributed to perpetuate a flame of ik» 
content in that province, though elsewherp it had visiUj 
abated. This was worked up in the year. 1773 to a higb piteh 
by a singular combination of circumstances. Some Msn 
had been written in the course of the dispute by lieBtcnaiit- 
govemor Hutchinson, Mr. Oliver, and others in Boston, to' 
persons in power and office in England, which contained s 
very unfavorable representation of public afiairs, and tended 
to show the necessity of coercive measures, and of chsogi^S 
the chartered system of provincial government. These let- 
ters fell into the hands of Dr. Franklin, agent of tliepro- 
vince, who transmitted them to his constituents. The iMiig- 
nation and animosity which was excited on tlieir penttl, 
knew no bounds. The house of representatives agreed on % 
petition and remonstrance to bid. majesty, in wlo^h thej 
charged their governor and lieutenant-governor witb bfii^ 
betrayers of their trust, and of the people they governed; 
and of giving private, partial, and false information. Tiicf 
also declared them enemies to the colonies, and pn^'ed for 
justice against them, and for their speedy removal from tbeir 

<<This petition and remonstrance being transmitted to 
England, the merits of it were discussed before liis majesQf'B 
privy council. After a hearing before that board, in wbicli 
Dr. Franklin represented the province of Massachusetts, the 
governor arid lieutenant-governor were acquitted. Mr. Wed* 
derbum^ (afterwards lord Loughborough,) who defended tbe 

acciseft roynl servants, in the coarse of his j^teadings, iw- 
w%bed against Dr. Franklin in the bitterest language, a^ 
the fonienter of the disputes between the t>vo countries. It 
whs no protection to this venerable sage, that beliig the agfent 
of M assachasetts, he conceived it his duty to inform his con- 
sttuents of letters written on public affairs, calculated t6 
overturn tbdir chartered constitution. The age, respectable 
diaracter, and hi^Iy Uterarjr raniL of the subject of the phi- 
lippic of— < 27te ptrtf prim, prater of the nctrtlUrn tact,* (as 
the satiric poet CkwrchiU designates Wedderbum,} turned the 
iiitetioii of the pubHc on the transaction. The insult oflered 
to one of their public agents, and especially to one "trho was 
Mb the idol and ornament of his country, sunk deep into the 
mhris of (he Americans: that a faithful servab^ whom they 
kved and almost adoi*ed, should be insulted for discharging 
Us ofidal duty, rankled in their hearts.'^ 

Br. Franklin told 'Mr. Lee, one of his counsd, after the 
bosiness was concluded, that he was indifferent to Mr. Wed- 
ierbmn's speech, but that he was indeed sincerely sorry to 
oe(^thebr& of council behave so indecently; manifesting, in 
Ae hidest manner, the great pleasure they received from the 
solicitDr's speech; that dernier coui*t, he said,*before whom all 
thcohniy affairs were tried, was not likely to act in a candid 
and impartial manner upon any future American question. 
They showed, ho added, tliat the coarsest language Can be 
gntttnl ta the politest ear. 

The following sliort statement of Dr. Fi*anUin*s behaviour 
before tlie privy council from the pen of Dr. Priestly, (who 
was present) may not be deemed uninteresting. 

Extract of a letter from Dr. Priestly, dated Northumber- 
land, United States, Nov. 10, 1802. 
^<I shall proceed to relate some particulars reelecting Dr. 
Franklin's behavior, when lord Loughborough, (then Mr* 
Vedderburn, pronounced his violent invective against him at 

* Sec the Examinations, vol. IV. p. 109, of this edition. 

3£8 MSM0IB9 07 

the privy conncUy on his presenting the complaints of the pro- 
vince of Massachusetts against their governor. Borne of tbe 
partickilars may be thougiit amnsing. 

<<0n the morning of the day on which the cause was to be 
heard» I met Mr. Burke, in Parliament street, accompanM 
by Dr. Douglas, afterwards, bishop of Carlisle; and after 
introducing us to each other as men of letters, he asked me 
whither I Was going? I said I could tell himwhere I wiMto 
go. He then asking me where it was, I saiid to the prirf-com- 
cil, but that I was afraid I could not get admis^on. He tbn 
desired me to go along with him. Accordingly I did; bat 
when we got into the anti-room, we found it quite filled with 
persons as desirous of getting admission as ourselves. Seeiiig 
this, I said we should never get through the crowd. He slid, 
«<give me your arm;" and locking it fast in his, hesooo Dsde 
his way to the door of the privy-council. I then said, <<)Ir. 
Burke, you are an excellent leader :'** be replied, <<Iwish 
other persons thought so too.'' 

After waiting a short time, the door of the privy-cooncil 
opened, and,we entered the first, when Mr. Burke took bis 
stand behind the first chair next to the president, and I bebiiid 
that the next to his. When the business was opened, it was 
sufficiently evident, from the speech of Mr. Weddertam, 
who was counsel for the governor, that the real object of 
ihe court was to insult Dr. Franklin. AU this time he stood 
in a corner* of the room, not far from me, without the lesst 
apparent emotion. 

Mr. Dunning, who was the leading counsel on the part of 
the colony, was so hoarse, that he could hardly make hio- 
aelf heard; and Mr. Lee, who was the second, spoke bol 
feebly in reply; so that Mr. Wedderbum had a complete tri- 
umph. At the sallies of his sarcastic wit, all the members of 
the council, the president himself (lord Gower) not excepted, 
frequently laughed outright No person belonging to tbe 

» Error. He stood close to the fire, and in front of the council^sWe. 


coohcil bebaveil with decent gravity, except lord North, who, 
coning late, took bis stand behind the chair opposite to me. 

When the business was oyer, Dr. Franklin, in going ootj 
took me by the hand, in a manner that Indicated some feel- 
ing. I soon followed him, and^oing through the anti-room, 
saw Mr. Weddorburn there, surrounded with a circle of his 
friends and admirers. Being known to him, he stepped for* 
wards as if to speak to me; but 1 turned aside, and made 
what haste I could out of the place. 

The next morning I breakfasted with the doctor, when he 
said, « he had never before been so sensible of the power of 
Hgood conscience; for if he bad not considered the thing for 
vbich he had been so much insulted, as one of the best ac- 
tioosof hislife, and what he should certainly do again in 
the same circumstances, he could not have supported it" He 
was accused of clandestinely procuring certain letters, con- 
tainuig complaints of the governor, and sending them to 
America, with a view to excite their animosity against him, 
and thus to embroil tlie two countries. But he assured me, 
that he did not even know that such letters existed, till they 
were brought to him as agent far the coUmj, in order to be 
seat to his constituents; aAd the cover of the letters on 
which the direction had been written, being lost, he only 
guessed at the person to whom they were addressed, by the 

That Dr. Franklin, notwithstanding he did not show it at 
the time, was much impressed by the business of the privy- 
council, appeared fromf this circumstance: when he attended 
there, he was dressed in a suit of Manchester velvet; and 
Silas Deane told me, when they met at Paris, to sign the 
treaty between France and America, he purposely put on that 

The publication of the letters of Hutchinson and Oliver, by 
fbe lq;islatore of Massachusetts, and the transmission of at- 
tested copies of the same, with their address, eventually pro- 
daced a dud between Mr. William Whately, (brother of the 
deceased Mr. Thomas Whately, secretary to the treasury. 

to whom the letters were origioaHj aildressedt Mdin nbw 
possession tbey were supposed to imYe been st the tae oC 
bis death, in 17720 and Mr. John Temple,* of BestoSyNii 
England; each of whom had been suspected of having bM 
instrumental in procaring the letters, and sending tkeab 
America* This tragfcal event, which DnFranktucoiddiirt 
foresee, nor had an oj^rtunity of {ireventing, wu adb 
iCiously made use of hy his enemies to cast an odium oskn 

The following account of the .whole of this mjM^ 
affair is taken from a manuscript in Dr. PrankHit's iW 
band-writing, found among his papers; evidently dnmiV 
with a view to justify his conduct with respect to ttoM ^ 
mous letters, and the unfortunate event that resaHedtlM- 
from, and probably witii the intent of inserting it m khn^ 
moirs, had be continued them to that period of his liie* f* 
these reasons the editor conceives it his duty to taMj <t 
with the present woric, as well for the justification of knil* 
lustrxous relative, as an historical document mpec% t i 
transaction important in the American annals, and whtt hii 
never before been tboroi^hly elucidated. 

Dr. Franklin may be considered as thus again contiiMnV 
his. own memoirs. 

HAYING been from my youth more or less eagsg^ '^ 
public affairs, it has often happened to me in tte coiifsi rf I 
my life, to be censored sharply for the part I took in tkcm 
Such censures I have generally passed over in silence, eoK' 
ceiving, when they were just, that I ought rather to ain" 
than defend; and wlieii they were undeserved, that a ttth 
time wouM justify me. Much experience has oonfirmed wf 

» AfterwtTda sir John Temple, and' for several years British cowtf* 
tbe United Sutes. 


i of tbe propriety of this conduct ; for notwithstaniHiig 
the fnquent, and aometimes the virulent, attacks vhicli ttie 
jeBtliaga of party iatareats liare drawn upon me^ I have had 
flnfiBiicity of bringing down to a good old age as fair a re- 
pstation XpoAj I he permilCed to say it) as most public men 
tint I have known, and have never had reason to repent my 
aq^ting to defend it. 

I AouM therefore (persisting as old men ought to do in 
fdd babits) have taken no notice of the late invective of the 
aoUcilor-general, nor of the abundant abuse in the papers, 
vere I not urged to it by my friends, who say, that the first 
bring delivered by a public officer of government,- before a 
bigh and most respectable court, the privy council, and conn- 
tmanced by its report, and the latter having that for its foun* 
datioo, it behoves me, more especially as I am about leaving 
tliit country, to furnish tltem with the knowlege of such facts 
is aay enable them to justify to others their good opinion of 
Be. This compels me to the present undertaking; for other- 
wise, having, for some time past, been gradually losing all 
public connexions, declining my agenda, determining on re- 
tifing to my little family, that I might enjoy the remainder of 
lib hi private repose, indiflferent to the opinion of courtiers, 
IS having nothing to seek or wish among them, and being 
secure, that time would soon lay the dust which prejudice and 
party have so lately raised, I should not think of giving my- 
felf the trouble of writing, and my friends of reading, an 
spokgy for my political conduct. 

That this conduct may be better imderstood, and its con- 
sisteaey more apparent, it seems necessary that I should first 
explain the princiides on which I have acted. It has long ap- 
peared to me that the only true British policy was that 
wbieh atiaed at the good of the whole BriHsh empire, not 
that which sought the advantage of one part in tho disad- 
vantage of the others: tl^refore all measures of procuring 
{am to the mother country arising from loss to her colo- 
nieSf and all of gain to the colonies, arising from or oc- 
casioning loss to Britain^ especially where the gain was 


fiinaU and (he loss great, every abridgment o{ the power rf 
the mother conntry* where that power was not prejudidtl to 
the liberties of the colonists, and every dimiaution of the 
privileges of the colonists, where tltey were not prejudicial 
to the welfare of the mother country, I, in my own mindjcoi- 
demned as improper, partial, unjust, and mischievous; tead- 
ing to create dissentions, and weaiccn tliat union, ob whick 
the strength, solidity, and duration of the empirf( gmajk- 
pended; and I opposed, as far as my little powers weatf tD 
proceedings either here or in America, that in my opinin 
bad such tendency. Hence it has often happened to met titft 
whHe I have been thought here too much of an AaericM) 
I have in America been deemed too much of an EngiiahiiMi 
From a thorough inquiry (on occasion of the stunptct) 
into the nature of the connection between Britain aod tke 
colonics, I became convinced, tliat the bond of their umoiis 
not the pariiament but the king. That in removing to Aae* 
rica, a country out of the realm, they did not carry witk 
them the statutes tlien existing; for if they did, the Foritaos 
must have been subject there to the same grievous actof coa- 
formtty, tithes, siiiritual courts, &c., which they meant to be 
free from by going thither; and in vain would they baveiclt 
their native country, and all the conveniences and comforti 
of its improved state, to combat the hai-dships of a nev Mi- 
tlement in a distant wilderness, if they had taken viA 
them what they meant to fly from, or if tb<7 bad left f 
power behind them capable of sending the same chains aBer 
them, to bind tliem in America. They took with tbenif i^* 
ever, by compact, their allegiance to the king, and a 1<9^ 
tive power for the- making a new body of laws witii bis aaaealr 
by which they were to be governed. Hence they bcounedii" 
tinct states, under the same prince, united as Irdand \$^^ 
crown, but not to the realm of j^ngland, and governed <vb 
by its own laws, tiiough M'ith the Q^me €Overeign, andlir* 
ing each the right of granting its own money to tbatsof^ 

BKirjAMJur iBAHKUir. ^* ^r'> 233 

At the same time» I considered the king's sopfreme anfho- 
rHjorer ail the colonies, as of tlie greatest importance to 
tbem, aflbrdiiig a iertder remni for settling all their disputeSf 
a means of preserving peace among them with each o&er^ 
and a centre in which their common force might be tinited 
i^atnst a common enemy : this authority, I therefore tboaghty 
when acting within its due limits, should be eyer as carefaUy 
BB^iortid by the colonists as by the inhabitants of Britain. 

In conformity with these principles, and as agent for the 
cokmies, I opposed tlie stamp act, and endeayored to obtain 
its repeal, as an infringement of the rights of the colonists^ 
of Boreal advantage to Britain, since she might ever be sure 
of greater aids from our voluntary grants, flian she could 
ecpect from ai-bitrary tarries, as by losing our respect and 
afltetioB, on which much of her commerce with us depended^ 
she would lose more in that commerce than she could pos* 
riliy gain by such taxes, and as it was detrimental to the 
liarmony which had till then so happily subsisted, and which 
was 80 essential to the welfare of the whole. And to keep up 
as dmch as in me lay, a reverence for the king, and « re- 
elect for the British nation on that side of the water, and on 
this, some regard for the colonies (both tending to promote 
that haraiony,) I industriously on all occasions, in my letters 
to America, represented the measures that were grievous to 
thtm, as being neitlier royal nor iiaHonal measures, but the 
schanesof an administration,which wished to recommend itself 
t» its ingenuity in finance, or to avail itself of new revenue 
la creating, by places and pensions, new dependencies; for that 
the king was a good and gracious prince, and the people of 
Biitaia their real friends. And on this side the water, I re- 
practtled the people of America as fond of Britain, concern- 
ed fbr its interests and its glory, and without the least desire 
of a sqmraitioB from it In both cases, I thought and still 
tUafc, I did not exceed the bounds of truth, and I have the 
hnrt-feltsatislhetion attending good intentions, even when 
dny are not successful. 

VOL.1. Hh 

g64 MiHeats ow 

yrifi^ these sontioimts I could not but see with concm 
the sending of ^reops to Boston; and their behavior to flu 
peo^e there^ .gaye me infinite uneasiness, as I aHprdMiM 
from that measure the worst of consequences $ — a breech k- 
tween the two countries. And I was the more conociari 
whea I found, that it was considered there as a national bki- 
sure, (since none here opposed it,) and^as a proof tbatM 
tain had no longer a parental regard Xor them. ImjseKiB 
conversation sometimes spoke of it in this light, and I«vi 
with some resentment, (beingmystslj^afmtiveofthatceailiy) 
till I was, to my great sqrpi^ assured by a gentleman of chi- 
racter and distinction, (whom I am not at present permiMii 
ni^e) that not only the measure I particularly censareiw 
warmly, hut all the other grievances we complained of^ to* 
their rise, not from the government here; bat were pnyectA 
proposed to administration, solicited, andobtainedf hysmMt 
the mosi. respectable among tlie Americans themselves; as a^ 
cessary measures for the welfare of that country. As I coaH 
not readily assent to the probability of this, he ondertookla 
convince me,and he hoped through me (as their agent here}a9 
countrymen. Accordingly, he called on me some days afieri 
and produced to me these very letters from lieutenant-ff'fW- 
nor Hutchinson, secretary Oliver, and others, whicb have 
since been the subject of so much discussion. 

Though astonished, I could not but confess myself coa- 
vinced, and J was ready, as he desired, toconvinjceoiy<^<H»- 
trymen; for I saw, I feh indeed by its effect upon niyadf»tte 
tendency it must have towards a. reconciliation; which bt we 
common good I earnestly wished; it appeared, moreovecsi ai; 
duty to give my constituents intelligence of such impoHaaoe 
to their affairs ;^ — but there was some diflkulty, as this gv^ 
tleman would not permit copies to be taken of tbe M^\ 
and if that could have been done, the authenticity of ^^ 
copies might have been doubted and disputed. My <>b>F 
account of them, as papers I had seen, would have beoi 
still less certain; I therefore wished to have the use of tke. 
originals for that purpose, which I at length obtaint^^ 


Htm express condttioiiB : that they sliould not be printed, that 
no copies should be taken of them, that thoy should be shown 
only to a few of the leading people of the government, and 
that they should be carefully returned. 

I accepted those conditions, and under the same transmit- 
ted the original letters to the committee of correspondence 
It Boston, without taking or reserving any copy of them for 
njtelf. I agreed the more willingly to the restraint, from an 
^preh^nsion that a publication might, considering the state 
of irritation in which the minds of the people there had long 
keen kept, occasion some riot of mischievous consequence. 
I hid no other scruple in sending them, for as they had been 
handed about here to injure that people, why not use them 
fer their advantage? The writers, too, had taken the same 
liberty with the letters of others, transmitting hither those of 
Kome and Auchmuty, in confirmation of their own calumnies 
ipdast the Americans; copies of some of mine too, had been 
retnmed here by officers of government; why then should 
theirs be exempt from the same treatment? To whom they 
had keen directed here I could only conjecture ; for I was 
not informed, and there was no address upon them when I 
received them. My letter, in which I inclosed them, express- 
ed more fully the motives abovementioned for sending them, 
and I shall presently give an extract of so much as related 
to them. 

Bot as it has, on the contrary, been roundly asserted, that 
I did not, as agent, transmit those letters to the assembly's 
committee of correspondence i that I sent them to a junto, 
myfeevKar correspondents; that fearing to be known as the 
person who sent them, I had insisted on the keeping that cir- 
camstance a secret; that I had « shown the utmost solicitude 
to have that secret keptf and as this has been urged as a 
demonstrative proof, that I was conscious of guilt in the man- 
ner of obtidning them, and therefore feared a discovery so 
ovcfa as to have been afraid of putting my name to the letter 
in which I inclosed them, and which only appeared to be 
i by my well-known hand writing; I would here, prevU 

£36 MEMOISS t>ir 

008 to that extract, observe, that on tlie same papw was inl 
written the copy of a preceding letter, which bad been first 
Bigned by me as usual ^ and, accordingly, the letter wm in 
question began with these words, «< JU above is a cqpf ^mg 
loit;^* and ail the firrt part of it was on business transacfted 
by me relating to the affkira of the proyince, and particoMj 
to two petitions sent to. me as agent by tlie assembly, to be 
presented to the king. These circumstances most to every pv- 
son there have as clearly sbowu me to be the writer of ihat 
ktter, as my treS-fcnown hand must have done to those fiea- 
Uar correspondetits of my own, to whom it is said I sentit 
If then I hoped to be concealed by not signing my name to 
such a letter, I must have been as siUy as that birdj which is 
supposed to think itself unseen when it has hid only its head. 
And if I could depend on my correspondents keeping seoel^ 
a letter and a trsuisaction which they must needs know were 
mine» I might as well have trusted tliem with my oame^^aad 
eould have had no motive for omitting it In tnitb» all I in- 
sisted on was, (in pursuance of my engagement) that the let- 
ters should not be printed or copied | but I had not al the 
time the least thought or desire of keeping my part in that 
transaction a secret; and, therefore, so Yar from reqncsliag 
it, I did not so much as give the smallest intimation, eva 
that it would be agreeable to me not to be mentioned on the 
occasion. And if I had had that inclination, i most bavebeea 
very weak indeed to fancy, that the person I wrola t%- 
all the rest of the committee of correspondence, five other 
persons named, and f*such others as the committee might thak 
fit to show them to,^' with three gentlemen here to whom I 
bad communicated Uie matter, should all keep as a secret ea 
my account what I did not state as a secret, or reqoestflhooU 
be concealed. 

So much of the letter as relates to the governor's letter, is 
as follows: 

^ On this occasion I think it fit to acquaint you, tiutf tibere 
has lately fallen into my hands part of a correspmidflnoe that 
I have reason to believe laid the foundation of moat, if not 

«| o«r present grievances. I urn not at liberty to tdl 
tbro^gb what channel I received it; and I have engaged that 
it shidl not be printed, nor any copies taken of the whole^ or 
any part of it; but I am allowed to let it be seen by some men 
of worth in the province^ for their satisfaction only. In con- 
fidence of your preserving inviolably my engagement^ I send 
yea inclosed the original letterSf to obviate eveiy pretence 
of unfairness in copying, interpolation^ or omission. The 
hands of the gentlemen will be well known. Possibly they 
may not like such an exposal of their conduct, however ten- 
derly and privately it may be managed. But if they are good 
mm, or pretend to be such, and agree that aU good men wish 
u good undentanding and harmony to subsist between the colo* 
lies and their mother country f they ought the less to regret^ 
that at the small expense of their reputation for sincerity and 
pobUc spirit among their compatriots, so desirable an event 
may in some degree be forwarded. For my own part, I cannot 
bntackuowlege, that my resentment against this country, for 
its arbitrary measures in governing us, conducted by the late 
miniirter, has, since my conviction by these papers^ that those 
mcasares were projected, advised, and called for, by men of 
character among ourselves, and whose advice must therefore 
be attended with all the weight that was proper to mislead^ 
Bad which could therefore scarce fail of misleading; my own 
nsentment,'! say, has by this means been exceedingly abated. 
I think they must have the same effect vnth you; but I am not. 
Its I have said, at liberty to make tiie letters public I can 
eidy allow tliem to be seen by yourself, by the other gentle* 
men of the committee of correspondence, by Messrs. Bow- 
doio and Pitts of the council, and doctors Chauncey, Cooper, 
and Winthrop, with a few such other gentlemen as you may 
think fit to show them to. After being some months in your 
possession, you are requested to return them to me. * 

''As to the writers, I can easily as well as charitably con- 
ceive it possible, that a man educated in prepossessions of tlie 
mbouaded authority of parliament, &c. may think unjnsti- 
iaUe ev^ opposition even to its unconstitutional exactions. 


and imagine it their duty to suppress^ as much as in them 
lies^ such opposition* Bat when I find them bartering awaj 
tiie Htierties of their natfve country For posts, and negottit- 
ing for salaries and pensions extorted from the people; aad 
conscious <if the odium these might be attended with, callfaf 
for troops to protect and secure the enjoyment of them; whes 
I see them exciting jealousies in the crown^ and provokinglt 
to work against so great a part of its faithfbl subjects; craU- 
ing enmities between the difierent countries of which the en- 
ptre consists; ooc^sioning a great expense to the M coatArj 
for suppressing or preventing imaginary rebellions in tbe 
new, and to the new country for the payment of needkss 
gratifications to useless officers and enemies; I cannot M 
doubt their sincerity even in the political principles they pro- 
tesB, and deem them mere time-servers, seeking their owb 
private emolument^ through any quantity of public misduff; 
betrayers of the interest, not of their native country only, M 
of the government they pretend to serve^ and of the whole 
English empire. 

M With the greatest esteem and respect, I have the honor 
to be, syr, your and the committee's moat obedient bombk 
servant, B. FRANKUN." 

My next letter is of Jan. 5th, 1773, to the same genflcflian^ 
beginning with these words.— << I did myself the honor of 
writing to you on the 2d of December past, inclosing some 
original letters from persons at Boston, which I hope got 
safe to hand." — ^And then goes on with other business trans- 
acted by me as agent, and is signed with my name as usual. 
In truth I never sent an anonymous letter to any person in 
America, since ray residence in London, unless where two or 
more letters happened to he on tlie same piqier, the first t 
copy of a preceding letter, and the subsequent referring to 
the preceding; in that case, I may possibly have omitted sign- 
ing more than one of them as unnecessary. 

The first letter, acknowleging the receipt of the papers, is 
dated Boston, March 24th, 1773, and begins thus: "I have 

just received jour favor of the 5^ December lasty with the 
several papers inclosed, for which I am much obliged to you. 
I iiave communicated them to. some of the gentlemen you 
mentioned. They are of opinion, that though it might be in- 
convenient to publish them, yet it might be expedient to have 
copies taken and left on this side the water, as there may be 
a necessity to make some use of them hereafter: however, I 
read to them what yon had wrote to me upon the, occasion, 
aod told them I could by no means consent copies of them 
or any part of them should be taken without your express 
leave; that I would write to you upon the subject, and should 
strictly conform to your directions." 

The next letter, dated April 20th, 1773, begins thus: 
^1 wrote you in my last, that the gentlemen to wb(mi I had 
communicated the papers you sent me under cover of yours 
of the 2d of December last, were of opinion that they ought 
to be retained on this side the water, to be hereafter employed 
as the exigency of our affairs may require, or at least that 
authenticated copies ou^ht to be taken before they are return- 
ed: I shall have, I find, a very difficult task properly to con- 
duct this matter, unless you obtain leave for their being re- 
tained or copied. I shall wait your directions on this head, 
and hope they will be such as will be agreeable to all the 
gentlemen, who unanimously are of opinion, that it can by 
no means answer any valuable purpose to send them here for 
the inspection of a few persons, barely to satisfy their curi- 

On the 9th of March I wrote to tiie same person, not hav- 
ing then received the preceding letters, and mentioned my 
having written, to him on the 2d of December and 5th of 
Januarys and knowing what use was made against the peo- 
^e ihere, of every trifling mob ; and fearing lest if the let- 
ters should, contrary to my directions, be made public, some- 
thing more serious of the kind might happen, I concluded 
.that letter thus: << I must hope that great care will be taken 
to keep our people quiet, since nothing is more wished for by 
enemies, than that by insurrections, we should gti^e a 

.S40 MBMOIR0 Of 

good pretence tor increasing the mitttary among as» and put- 
ting us onder more aeirere restraints* And it must be mkA 
to all^ tkat by aor rapidly increasing strengtbf we shall bom 
liecome of so much importance, that none of our just claim 
or privileges will be, as heretofore, unattended to, nor lay 
aecurity we can wish for our rights be denied us." 

Mine of May 6th, begins thus: «< I have i^eceived none of 
your favors since that of Nov. ^th. I bavie since wrttato 
you of the following dates, Dec. 3d, Jan. 5th, March 9tlif ni 
April Sd, which I hope got safe to hand." Thus in two oit 
of three letters subsequent to that.o( Dec, 2d, which iodoaed 
the governor's letters, I mentioned my writing that lettffj 
which shows I could have no intention of concealing my luff- 
ing written it; and that therefore the assertion of my sendipg 
it anonymously is without probability. 

In ftiine of June £d, 177 S, I acknowlege the recepit of bk 
ktter (tf March £4th, and not being able to ans^jer iooiefi- 
ately his request of leave to copy the letters, I said nothing 
of them then, postponing that subject to anopportonUjr 
which was expected two days after: viz. June 4th, wheanj 
letter df that date conrlodes tlius, << As to the letters Icon- 
municated to you, though I have not been able to obtain ^^ 
to take copies or publish them, I havje permission to let tbe 
originals remain with you, as long, as you may think it of 
any use to have the originals in possession/' 

In mine of July irrs, I answer the above of April 20^ 
as follows: <«The letters communicated to you wereoot 
merely to satisfy the curiosity of any, but it was thouf^t 
there might be a use in showing them to some friends of ik 
province, and even to some of the gcroenuxr^s fortiff for tteir 
more certain information concerning his conduct and politiciy 
though the letters were not made quite public. I beliefa I 
have since written to you, that there was no occasion to l^ 
torn them speedily; and though I cannot obtain leave as jc< 
to suflbr copies to be taken of them, I am allowed to atyi 
that they may be shewn and read to whom and as m9Bj^ 
you think proper.'* 


Tbe same person wrote to me June Hth^ l77Sf in these 
tefms: •'! have endeavored inviolably to keep to youi; injunc- 
tions with respect to the, papers you sent me; I have shewn 
tbem only to such persons as you directed; no one perspn^ 
except Dr. Cooper and one of the committee^ knows from 
whom they came, or to whom they were sent: I have con* 
stantly avoided mentioning your name upon the occasion^ so 
that it never need be known (if you incline to keep it a secret) 
who they came from^ and to whom they were sent; and / 
itrirtf 90 far as 1 am concemedf my name may not be mention* 
id; for it may be a damt^e to me. I thought it however my 
doty to communicate them as permitted^ as they contained 
natters of importance that very nearly affected the govern* 
ment And notwithstanding ^11 my care and precaution^ it is 
now publicly known that such letters are here. Considering 
tbe number of persons who '^vere to see them^ (not less than 
ten or fifteen) it is astonishing they did not get air before/' — 
Tbcn he goes on to relate how tbe assembly having heard of 
them^ obliged him to produce them; but engaged not to print 
them; and that they afterwards did nevertheless print theipy 
iiavfaig got over that engagement by the appearance of copies 
m tbe boQsey produced by a member who it was imported had 
just received them from England. This letter concludes, ^1 
have done all in my power strictly to conform to your restric- 
tions, but from the circumstances above related, you must be 
sensible it was impossible to prevent the letters being made 
public, and therefore hope I shall be free from all blame re- 
specting this matter." ^ 

This letter accounts for its being, uneocpectedly to me, made 
a secret in Boston that I had sent the letters. The gentleman 
to whom I sent them had his reasons for desiring not to be 
known as the person who received and communicated them; 
but as this would have been suspected, if it were known that 
I sent them, that circumstance was to be kept a secret Ac- 

VOIi. T. 1 1 


rordingl^ they were gitrcn to another^ to be by bim prodaced 
by the Qommittee.* 

My answer to this was of July 25th, 1773, as follows: «I 
am favored with yours of June 14thy containing some copies 
of the resolves of the committee upon the letters. I see bj 
your account of the transaction, that yoii could not well pre- 
vent what was done* As to the report of other copies bein; 
come from England, I think that could not be. It was aa ex- 
pedient to disengage the hoiise.^^^ I hope the possession of the 

* When Dr. Franklin put in his answer to the Bill in Chancerr, viiidi 
had been filed against him in the name of Mr. Whately, he demurred to 
two of the interrogatories which it contained, and by which he wis re* 
quired to name the person in England frpm whom be bad recdvedtlielet* 
ters in question, and also the person in America to whom they had by lua 
been transmitted; and. declined making any disclosure of their i 
This demurrer was however overruled ; and he was ordered to i 
these interrogatories: but feeling that his doing so would be avMtfwB 
of his engagement to the person from whom he had received the kxim, 
and probably injurious to the person -to whom they had been sent, be 
thought it incumbent on him to return to America, and thereby 9M 
the breach of his engagement, and he appears to have done this cooici- 
entiously; and so completely, that the person from whom the letten 
were received, was never ascertained; nor were any of the conjecturei 
respecting that person founded upon, or suggested by any infidelity or 
indiscretion on the part of Dr. Franklin. He was not however under tt 
equal obligation to secrecy, in regard to the person to whom the ktten 
were immediately transmitted; and he therefore confidentially in^o*^ ^ 
friend of his, (Dr. Bancroft, to whom the editor is indebted for this note) 
that they had been sent to Mr. Gushing, then speaker of the boose of 
representatives of the Massachusetts* Bay; with whom it was Dr.FhOK* 
lin^s duty, as agent for the assembly of that province^ to correspond.'^ 
a.fact now ascertained in his Private CoRRE8PONDXNCE,Partn^l» 
« which there is no longer any motive for concealing. 

■ Men sometimes think it allowable to act improperly for whit tb^ 
consider as ^ood purposes. This was done at Boston, in regard to the let* 
ters under consideration: — a publication of these letters was deemed rf 
the highent importance, by the leading members of the house of represefl' 
tatives ; and copies of them were therefore made unwalrantaUy^ f>^ 
these, the late Mr. Hancock was induced to bring forward in that boosei 
of which he was a member, and to declare that they had been sent to bim 
from England; a declaration which could not have been true. 


BiiginalSf and the proceedings upon them will be attended 
with salatary effects to tiie province, and then I shall be well 
pleaaed^^— I observe what you mention, that no person be- 
sides Dr. Cooper and one of the committee knew they came 
from me, I did not accompany them with any request of be- 
ing myself concealed, for believing what I did^ to be in the 
way of my duly as agent, thougli I had no doubt of its giv- 
ing offence, not only to the parties exposed, but to adminis- 
tration here, I was n^ardless of the consequences. However, 
since tlie letters themselves are now copied and printed, con- 
trary to the promise I made, I am glad my name has not 
been heard on the occasion, and as I do not «ee it could be 
of any use to the public, I now wish it may continue unicnown, 
tbodgh I hardly esqiect it. As to yours, you may rely on my 
never mentioning it, except that I may be .obliged to shew 
your letter in my own vindication, to the person oitly who 
might other^i3e think he had reasoq to blame me for breach 
of engagement.'' 

"With the abovementioned letter of thea4th of June, I re- 
ceived one from another of the gentlemen to whom the pa- 
pers bad been communicated, which says, << By whom and to 
whom they were sent is still a secret, known only to three 
persons here, and may still remain so if. you desire it.'' My 
answer to bini.of July 25th, was, « I accompanied them with 
no restriction relating to myself: my duty to the province as 
tbdr agent I thought required the communication of them 
80 (ar as I could. I was sensible I should make enemies there, 
and perhaps might offend government here; but these appre- 
hensions I disregarded. I did not expect,' and hardly still ex- 
pect, that my sending them could be kept ^ secret But since 
it is such hitherto, I now wish it may continue so, because the 
publication of the letters, contrary to my engagement, has 
changed the circumstances.-— His reply to this of the lOth 
of November, is^ << After all the solicitous inquiries of the 
governor and his friends respecting his letters, it still re- 
mains a secret from and to whom they were sent here. This 
is Junown among ns^ to two only besides myself; and will re* 


main undiscoYCi^d^ unless further intdligence should com 
from your side the water» than I have reason to think has yet 
been obtained* I cannot^ however, but admire your honest 
openness in this affair, and noble negligence of any inconve* 
ni^m^ies that might arise to yourself in this essential semt 
to our injured country/' 

To another friend I wrote of the same date, July SSth^ wkit 
wOl show the apprehensions I was constantly under rftke 
mischiefs that might attend a breach from the exaspented 
state of things, and the arguments I used to prevent it, vis. 
<(I'am glad to see that you are elected into the couDcil, ^ 
are about to take part in our public affaii*s. Tour abilities) 
integrity, and sober attachment to the liberties of our coan- 
try, will be of great use at this tempestuous time, in condoet* 
ing our little bark into a safe harbor. By the Boston nets* 
papers, there seem to be among us some violent spirits IriR^ 
are for an immediate rupture* But I trust the general pn- 
dence of our countrymen will see, that by our gmms 
strength we advance fast to a situation in which our (jaiiss 
must be albwed ; that by a premature struggle we ma; be 
crippled and kept down another agd; that as between friends 
•very affront is not worth a duel, and between nations ereiy 
injury is not worth a war, so between the governed and flis 
governing, every mistake in government, every cncroack- 
ment on rights is not worth a rebellion: 'tis, in my opintos, 
sufficient for the present, that wo hold them forth on all ood- 
sions, not giving up any of them, using at the sanie tine 
every means to make them generally understood and vdoed 
by the people; cultivating a harmony among the colonieSr 
that their union in the same sentiments may give them greater 
weight; remembering withal that this Protestant country (oof 
mother, though of late an unkind one) is worth presenringf 
and that her weight in the scale of Europe, her safety in ^ 
great degree, may depend on our union with her. Thus cos- 
ducting, I am confident, we may within a ftw years, obtain 
every allowance of, and every security for, our inestiroabh 
privileges, that wc can wish or desire/' — ^His answer of Dec. 

SlBt» is, «I concur perfectly with you in the sentiments ex- 
pressed in year last. No considerate person, I should think, 
can approve of desperate remedies, except in desperate cases. 
The people of America are extremely agitated by the rqieat* 
ed efforts of administration to subject them to absolute power* 
They have been amused with accounts of the pacific disposi- 
tion of the ministry, and flafttered with assurances that upon ^ 
flieir humble petitions ail their .grievances would be redressed* 
They have petitioned from time to time; but tlieir petitions 
have had no other effect than to make* them feel more sensi* 
biy their oinrn slavery. Instead of redress, every year has 
produced some new manoeuvre, which could have no tendency 
bttt to irritate them more and more. The last measure of the 
East India company's sending their tea here, subject to a 
duty, seems to have given the finishing stroke to their pa« 
ticnce. Tou will have heard, of the steps taken at Boston, 
New York, and Philadelphia, to prevent the'payment of this 
duty, by sendin.^ the tea back to its owners. But as this was 
Imd impossible at Boston, the destruction of the tea was 
the GOQsequence. What the event of these commotions will 
be God only knows. The people through tlie colonies ai^ear 
immovably fixed in their resolution, that the tea duty shall 
aerer be paid; and if the roini^ry are determined to enforco 
ttese measures, I dread the consequences: I verilyvfear they 
win turn America into a field of blood. But I will hope for 

I am told that administration is possessed of most of my 
letters sent or received on public affairs for some years pastl 
Ciqiies of them having been obtained from tlie files of the 
several assemblies, or as they passed through the post office. 
I do |iot condemn their ministerial iudustfy, or complain of it* 
The foregoing extracts may be compared with those copies^ 
ami I can appeal to them with confidence, that upon such com- 
parison these extracts will be found faithfully made. And that 
tbe whole tenor of nly letters has been, to persuade patience 
mid a careful guarding against all violence, under the griev- 
mices complained of, and this from various considerations. 


such as that the welfare of the empire depended upon tlie 
union of its parts^ that the sovereign was well disposed to- 
wards IIS, and the body of this nation our friends and wdir 
Wishers; that it was the ministry only who were prejodioed 
against us; that the sentiments of ministers might in time be 
changed, or the ministers themselves be changed; or that if 
those chances failed, at least tinfe would infallibly bring re* 
dress, since the strength, weight, and importance of Anwrioa 
was continually and rapidly increasing, and its friendslup of 
course daily becoming more valuable, and more likely to be 
cultivated by an attention to its rights. The newspapers have 
announced, that treason is found in some of ray letters* It 
must then he of some new species. The invention of court 
lawyers has always been fruitful in the discovery of new trea« 
sons": and perhaps it is now become treason to censure the 
conduct of ministers. None of any other kind, I am sure, 
can be found in my correspondence. 

The effect of the governor's letters on the minds of the 
people in New England, when they came to be read tbere, 
was precisely what had been expected, and proposed by send- 
ing them over. It was now seen that the grievances, which 
had been so deeply resented as measures of the mother coim* 
try, were in fact the measures of two or three of their ovm 
people; of course all that resentment was withdrawn from 
her, and fell where it was proper it should fall, on the heads 
of those caitiffs, who were the authors of the mischief. Both 
houses took up the matter in this light. The council resolved 

[^This piece is wanting,^ 
and the house of representatives agreed to the following re- 
solves, reported by the committee appointed to consider the 
letters, viz. 

"The Committee appointed to consider certun Letters laid before the 
House of Representatiresy the fbUowing^ Resolves. 

" Tuetday, June 15th, 1773. 
*' Resolved, That the letters sigpned Thmat Suichtuon and|^fuftvw 
OUver^ ftow under the consideration of this house, appear to be the ge- 


uuine letters of the present governor and Uetitenant-go^ernar of thi» * 
province, whose hand-writing* and signatures are well known to many of 
the members of this house: and that they contain agg^Tated accounts 
«f heta, and misrepresentations: and that one manifsft dnign of them 
was to represent the matters they treat of in a light highly inftai9U9 to 
this province, and the persons against whom ihey were written. 

"Resolved, That though the letters aforesaid, signed Thomas HuteMn^ 
mtif are said by the governor in his message to this house of June 9th, to 
be 'private letters written to a gentleman in London, since deceased,' 
and ' that all except the last were written many months before he came 
to the chair ;^ yet tliat they were written by the present governor, wAcn 
he -mao heutenant-govemor and chief juttice of this province; who has been 
represented abroad, as eminent for hit abiUtiea, as for his exalted station ; 
and was under no official obligation to transmit private intellig'ence : and 
that they there/ore mu$t be conaitkred by the person to whom they were 
sent* as doeumente of $oHd intelligence : and that this gentleman in London 
to whom they were written, was then a member of the Britiah parlia* 
ment, and one who was very active in American afifkirs ; and therefore 
that these letters, however, secretly written, nnut naturally be iuppondto 
hatfOa and reaUy had, d pubUc operation, 

''Resolved, That these 'private letters' being written 'urith express 
confidence of secrecy,* was only to prevent the contents of them being 
known Aere, as appears by said letters; and this rendered them the more 
injurious in their tendency, and really insidious. 

^Resolved, That the letters signed Thonuu Hutckimon, considering the 
person by whom they were written, the matters they expressly contain, 
the express reference in some of them for ' AiU intelligence' to Mr, Hal- 
lowell» a person deeply inltrested in the measures so mudi complained 
o( and recommendatory notices of divers othSr persons, whose emolU" 
ments axisiiig from our public burdens must excite them to unfavorable 
reptesentations of us, the meaouree they ouggeot, the temper in which they 
were wtttten^ the manner in which they were sent, and the person to . 
whom they were addressed, had a natural and ejicaciouo tendency to in« 
temipt and alienate the affections of our most gracious sovereign King 
Cieorge the Third, from this his loyal and aifectionate province; to de- 
stroy that harmony and good will between Great-Britain and this colony, 
which every friend to either ^would wish to establish; to excite the re- 
sentment of the British administration against this prorince ; to defeat 
the endeavors of our agents and friends to serve us by a fair representa- 
tion of our state of grievances ; to prevent our humble and repeated peti- 
tions from reaching the royal ear of our common sovereign; and to pro- 
duct the eevere and deotmetive meaoureo which have been taken against 
this province, and others still more so, which have been threatened. 

*' Resolved, As the opinion of this house, that it clearly appears from 
the letters aforesaid, signed Thomas Hvttchin^on and Av.dreto OHver, that 



it w$» the desire and endeavor of the writers of them, Hutt eertam aett 
of the British parliament) for raising a revenue in America* tmghi ie em^ 
ried inio efict hy mi&tartf force t and by introducing a fleet and amy lafeD 
this his majesty's loyal province, to intimidate the minds of his sfob|eeto 
here, and to prevent every constitutional measure to obtain the repeal of 
those acts, so justly esteemed a grievance to us, and to suppress the very 
spirit of freedom. 

** Resolved, That it is the opinion of this house, that as the wlafrigw 
lately appointed for the governor, lieutenant-governor, md judges of diii 
province, directly repugnant to the charter, and subversive of jositiee, 
are founded on this revenue; and as these letters were written with a db- 
>«$«, and had a tendency to promote and euppert that revenue, thereCbR, 
there is great reason to suppose the writers of those letters -were «el- 
knorahu^ to, eu^geoted and promoted the enacting said revenue acts, and 
the establishments founded on the samf . 

'* Resolved, That while the writer of these letters signed Tkomm 
iftachpuon, has been thus exerting himself, by his 'secret confidentuA 
correspondence,' to introduce measures destructive of our constitutioail 
liberty, he has been practising every method among the people of tliii 
province, to fix in their minds an exalted opinion of his warmest aice- 
tion for them, and his unremitted endeavors to promote their best ittte- 
rests at the court of Great Britain. 

*' Resolved, as the opinion of this house. That by combing these let* 
ters signed Tmo. Hutchinson, with those signed AKDl^nvBa, Cbas. 
Paxton, and Natu. Rogbks, and considering what has since in IStot 
taken place conformable thereto, that there have been forfnong yearo paat, 
meatvret contemplated^ and a plan formed^ by aeet qf men borm and edutated 
among i», to raise their own fortunes, and adrance themselves to posts of 
honor and profit, not onl/ to the destruction of the charter and oonstiUi> 
tion of this province, but at the expense of the rights and liberties of Ae 
American colonies. And it is farther the opinion of this house, that the 
said persons hAve been some of the chief inHrumento m Me imroducikm of 
a military force into the province, to carry their plans into execution; oaA 
therefore they haoe been not only greatly metrumenUU in disturbing llie 
peace and harmony of the government, and causing and pronoUng great 
discord and animosities, but are juttly chargeaJbie with the great eomip- 
tion of morals, and aU that cor^flteiony mieery, and btoodaked, wMc^ tose looi 
the natural ejfeete t^ the iniroduetiofi of troopo, 

** Whereas, for many years past, measures have been taken by the 
British administration, very grievous to the good people of this p rov i ncet 
which this house have now reason to suppose, were promoted, if not ovi* 
ginally suggested by the writers of these letters; and many eflbrts hsve 
been made by the people to obtain the redress of their grievances : Re- 


* Hut it appears to this bouse, that the writers of these letters have 
availed themselves of disorders that naturally arise in a free government 
uader «]ch oppressions, as arguments to prove, that it was originally ne- 
cetiary such measures should have been taken, and that they should now 
be continued and increased. 

" Whereas in the letter signed Cha. Paxton, dated Boston Harbor, June 
20, 1768^ it is expressly declared, that * unless we have immediately two 
or three regiments, 'tis the opinion of all the friends of government, that 
Bostm will be in open rebellion.' 

"Resolved, That this is a most wicked and injurious representation, 
designed to inflame the minds of his majesty's ministers, and the nation; 
sad to excite in the breast of our sovereign, a jealousy of his loyal sub- 
jects of said town, without the least grounds therefor, as enemies of bis 
mjesty's person and government 

"Whereas certain letters by two private persons, signed T. MofTat . 
and 6. Rome, have been laid before the house, which letters contain 
iBsay matters highly injurious to government, and to the national peace : 
Besolred, That it has been the misfortune of this government, from the 
earliest period, of it, from time to time, to be secretly traduced and ma^ 
lioously represented to the Briash ministry, by persons who were nei- 
ther friendly t-o this colony, nor to the English constitution. 

" Resolved, That this house have just reason to complain of it as a very 
great grievance, that the humble petitions and remonstrances of the com- 
mons of thb province are not allowed to reach the hands of our most gra- 
cious sovereign, merely because they are presented by an agent, to whose 
W^io^cnt the governor, with whom our chief dispute may subsist, 
doth not consent; while \}\e partial and ir\/lammatory letters of individuals 
vbo are greatly interested in the revenue acts, and the measures taken 
toearry them into execution, have been laid before administration^ attended 
^ and deUrmbned ttpen, not only to the injury of the reputation of the peo- 
pleybutto the depriving them of their invaluable rights and liberties. 

"Whereas this house are humbly of opinion, that his majesty will 
judge it to be incompatible with the interest of his crovm, and the peace 
and safety of the good people of this his loyal province, that persons 
should be continued in places of high trust and autliority in it, who are 
koovn to have with great industi-y, though secretly, endeavored to un- 
dermine, alter, and overthrow tlie constitutipn of the province. 
** Therefore, 

"Resolved, That this house is bound in duly to the king and their 
tonsdtuents, humbly to remonstrate to his majesty, the conduct of his 
cxoellciicy Thomas Hutchinson, esq. governor, and the honorable Andrew 
Ofiver, esq. Ueatenant^govemor of this province; and to pray that his 
najesty would be pleased to remove tliem for ever from the government 

VOL. L K. k 

£50 MEMOIRS av 

Upon these resolutions was founded a petition, transmitted 
to me to be presented to his majesty* 

Lord Dartmouth) secretary of state for the colonies, being 
in the country when I received this petition, I transmitted it 
to his lordship, inclosed in a letter.^ 

No one who knows lord Dartmouth, can doubt of the sin* 
cerity of titc good wishes expressed in bis letter to oe; and 
if ills majesty's other servants had fortunately been jwisseas- 
cd of the same benevolent dispositions, with as much of that 
attention to the public interest, and dexterity in managing it, 
as statesmen of this country generally show in obtaining and 
securing tlieir places, here was a fine opportunity put into 
their bands of « re-establishing t!ie union and harmony that 
formerly subsisted between Great Britain and her coIoDies,'' 
80 necessary to the welfare of botii, and upon the easy con- 
dition of only " restoring things to tlic state tliey were in at 
the conclusion of the late war." This was a solemn declara* 
tion sent over from the province most aggrieved, in which they 
acquitted Britain of their grievances, and cliargcd them all upon 
a few individuals of their own country. Upon tlie heads of these 
very mischievous men they deprecated no vengeance, though 
that of the whole nation was justly merited; tliey considered it 
as a hard thing for an administration to punish a governor who 
had acted from orders, tliongh the orders had been procured 
by Ills misrepresentations and calumnies; t!iey therefore only 
petitioned, "that his majesty would be pleased to remove T. 
Hutchinson, esquire, and A. Oliver, esquire, from tlieir posts 
in that government, and place good and faithful men in tlieir 
stead/' These men might have been placed or pensioned 
elsewhere, as othei's have been; or like the scape^goats of 
old, they miglit liave carried away into the wilderness all the 
offences which had arisen between tlie t»vo countries, with 
the burthen of which, they, having been the authors of these 
mischiefs, were most justly chargeable. 

But this opportunity ministers had not the wisdom to 
embrace; they chose rather to reject it, and to abuse and 

? See Vol. IV. page 142, 3, 4, of thU edition. 

puDiflh me for giving it A court clamor was raised against 
me as an incendiary; and. the very action upon which I va* 
lued myseir, as it appeared to me a means of lessening our 
differences, I was unlucky enough to find charged upon me^ 
OS a wicked attempt to increase them. Strange perversion!^ 
I was it seems equally unlucky in another action, which I 
also intended for a good one, and which brought on the above* 
mentioned clamor. The news being arrived here of the pub- 
lication of those letters in America, great inquiry was made 
who had transmitted them. Mr. Temple, a gentleman of the 
customs, was accused of it in the papers. He vindicated him- 
self. A public altercation ensued upon it, between him and a 
Mr. Whately, brother and executor to the person to whop it 
was supposed the letters had been originally written, and 
who was suspected by some of communicating them; on the 
supposition, that by his brother's death they might have falU 
en into h is hands. As the gentleman to whom I sent them, 
had, in his letter to me above recited, given an important 
reason for his desiring it should be concealed, that he was the 
person who received them, and had, for the same reason, 
cboaen not to let it be known I sent them, 1 suffered that al- 
tercation to go on without interfering, supposing it would end, 
as other newspaper controversies usually do, when the par- 
ties and the public should be tired of them. But this dispute 
anexpectedly and suddenly produced a duel. The gentlemen 
were pai-ted ; Mr. Wliately was wounded, but not dangerous- 
ly. This, however, alarmed me, and made me wish I had 
prevented it; but imagining all now over between them, I 
still kept silence, till I heard that the duel was understood to 
be unfinished, (as having been interrupted by persons acci- 

' ^ We miiat not» in the coarse of pablic life* expect immetUate appro- 
bation) and immediate gratefnl acknowlegement of our senrices. But let 
oa peraevere through abuu, and even it^wy. The internal aatiafaction of 
a good conscience ia always present, and time will do us justice in the 
minds of the people, even those at present the most prejudiced against 
us.**— «^,^»777<^i5?';i'* /''-f'tiuffl Coryrffiornfenr**. 


dentally near)i and that it would probably be re^peated as 
soon as Mr. Whately, who was mending daily had recoyered 
his strength. I then thought it high time to interpose; and as 
the quarrel was for the public opinion^ I took what I thought 
the shortest way to settle that opinion, with regard to thepar- 
tiesi by publishing an explanation in the Pubi.ic Abvbk- 


This declaration of mine was at first generally approved, 
except that some blamed me for not having made it sooner, so 
as to prevent the duel; but I had not the gift of prophecy: I 
could not foresee that the gentlemen would fight; I £d not 
even foresee that either of them could possibly take it 31 of 
me. I imagined I was doing them a good office, in clearing 
both of them from suspicion, and removing the cause of their 
difference. I should have thought it natural for them boUi to 
have thanked me, but I was mistaken as to one of them; his 
wound perhaps at first prevented him, and afterwards he was 
tutored probably to another kind of behavior by his coart 
connections. My only acquaintance with this gentleman, Mr. 
William Whately, was from an application he made to me to 
do him the favor of inquiring after some land in Pennsylva- 
nia, supposed to have been purchased antiently from the first 
proprietor, by a major Thomson, his grandfather, of wbicb 
they had some imperfect memorandums in the family, bnt 
knew not whether it might not have been sold or conveyed 
away by him in his life-time, as there was no mention of it 
in his will. I took the trouble of writing accordingly, to a 
friend of mine> an eminent lawyer there, well acquainted with 
such business, desiring him to make the inquiry. He tofJk 
some pains, in it at my request, and succeeded; and, in a let- 
ter informed me, that he had found the land; that the propri- 
etary claimed it, but he thought the title was clear to the heir 
of Thomson; that he could easily recover it for him, and 
would undertake it if Mr. Whately should think fit to em- 
ploy him ; or if he rather chose to sell it, my friend empow. 

* See Vol. IV. p. UT of this edition. 


eitd me to make him an offer of five thousand pounds ster- 
ling for it. With this letter 1 waited upon him about a month 
before the duel, at his house in Lombard streettthe first time 
I had ever been in it. He was pleased with the intelligence^ 
and called upon me once or twice afterwards to concert the 
means of making out bis title. I mention some of these cLr- 
camstances to show» tiiat it was not through any previous 
acc|Qatntance with him that I came to the knowlege of tlie 
lamoufi letters; for they had been in America near a year be- 
fore I so much as knew where be lived : — and the others I 
mention to show bis gratitude. I could have excused his not 
thanking me for sparing him a second hazard of his life; 
for though he might feel himself served, he might also ap- 
prehend that to seem pleased would look as if he was afraid 
of fighting again; or perhaps he did not value his life at any 
thing; but the addition to his fortune one would think of somo 
value to a banker; and yet the return this worthy gentleman 
made me for both favors^ was, without the smallest previous 
notice^ warning, complaint, or request to me, directly or in- 
directly, to clap upon my back a chancery suit. His bill set 
fortli^ «<Tbat he was administrator of the goods and chattels 
of his late brother Thomas Whately; that some letters had been 
written to his said brother by the governors Hutchinson and 
Oliver; that those letters had been in the custody of his 
said brother at the time of his death, or hqd been by him de- 
Irpered to some other penon for perugal, and to be by such 
person safely kept and returned to said Thomas Whately; 
that the same bad by some means come into my hands; that 
to prevent a discovery, I, or some person by my order, had 
erased the address of the letters to the said Thomas Whate- 
ly; that, carrying on the trade of a printer^ I had by my 
agents or confederateSf printed and published the same let- 
ters in America, and disposed of great numbers; that I 
tiireatened to print and sell the same in England; and that 
he had applied to me to deliver up to bim tiie said letters, and 
all copies thereof, and desist from printing a/id publishing 
the same, and account with him for iheprnfits thereof; and he* 


was ill lioprs I would have complied witb sacli request, but jv 
it was that I had refused, &c. contrary to equity and good 
conscience, and to the inanifest injury and oppression of hioi 
the cofiiplainant; and praying my lord chancellor that I might 
be obliged to diftcover how I came by the letters, what duvk 
her of copies I bad printed and sold, and to ojccount vift 
him for the profits, &c. &c.'' The gentleman himself must 
have known, that every circumstance of tiiis was totaUfJUse; 
that of his brother's having delivered the Utters to some Mar 
person for perusal, excepted. Those as little acquainted with law 
as I was, (who indeed never before had a law-suit of any kiai) 
ihay wonder at this as much as I did ; but I have now learnt 
that in chancery, though the defendant must swear to fte 
truth of every point in his answer, tlie plaintiff is not pot to 
his oath^ or obliged to have the least regard to truth in his 
bill, but is allowed to lie as much as he pleases* I do soft 
understand this, unless it be for the encouragement of ha- 

My answer upon oath was, <« That the letters in question 
were given to me^ and came into my bands, as agent far ike 
house of representatives of the province of Massachusetts Bag; 
that when given to me, I did not know to whom they had 
been addressed, no address appearing upon them; nor did I 
know before, that any such letters existed; that I had not 
been for many years concerned in printing; that I did not 
cause the lettei-s to be printed, nor direct the doing it; that I 
did not erase any address that might have been on the lettcss; 
nor did I know that any other person had made such era- 
sure; that I did, as agent to the province, transmit (as I ap- 
prehended it my duty to do) the said letters to one of the 
committee, with whom I had been directed to correspond, 
inasmuch as in my judgment they related to matters of great 
public importance to that province, and were pot into my 
hands for that purpose; that I had never been applied to by 
the complainant, as asserted in his bill, and had made no pro- 
fits of the letters, nor intended to make any, &c.'^ 

It was about this time become evident, that all tliooghts of 
reconciliation with the colony of the Massachusetts Bay, by 
aittentton to their petitions and a n*dress of their giievanccs^ 
was laid aside; that severity was resolved; and' that the de- 
crying and villifying the people of that country, and me their 
agent among the rest, was quite a court measure. It was tlie 
tm with all the ministerial folks to abuse them and me, in 
every company, and in every newspaper; and it was intimated 
to me as a thing settled, long before it happened, that tha 
petition for removal of the governors was to be rejected, the 
assembly censured* and myself who had presented it, was to 
be punisiied by the loss of my place in the post office. For 
all this I was thorefort^ prepared ; but the attack from Mr. 
Whately was, I own, a surprise to me; under the abovemen- 
tioned circumstances of obligation, and without the slightest 
provocation, I could not have imagined any man base enough 
to commen<;e, of his own motion, . such a vexatious suit 
against me. But a little accidental information served to throw 
•some light upon the business: an acquaintance^ calling on me, 
after having just been at the treasury, showed me what he 
styled a pretty thing f for a friend of his; it was an order for 
one hundred and fifty pounds, payable to Dr. Samuel John- 
800} siiid to be one half df liis yearly pension, and drawn by 
ttie secretary of the treasury on this same Mr. Whately. I 
then considered him as a banker to the treasury for the pen- 
sion money, and thence as having an interested connection 
with administration, that miglit induce him to act hy directi&n 
of othera In harasssing me with this suit; which gave me if 
possible a still meaner opinion of him, than if he had done it 
of his own accord. 

What further steps he or his confederates^ the ministers^ 
will take in this cause, I know not: I do not believe the bank- 
er himself, fin<nng there are no profits to be shared, would 
willingly lay out a sixpence more upon the suit; but then my 
finances are not sufficient to cope at law with the treasury 

* ThiB was the Ute William Strahan, eaq. M. P. and king^'s printer. 

£56 . MEMOIilS OF 

liare; especially When administration has taken care to pre* 
T$nt my constituents of New England from paying me anj 
salary, or reimbursing me any expenses, by a special instruc- 
tion to the governor, not to sign any warrant for tiiat purpete 
on the treasury there. 

The injustice of thus depriving tiie people tliei-e of the use 
of their own money, to pay an agent acting in their defence, 
while the governor, with a large salary oht of the money ex- 
torted from them by act of parliament, was enabled to pay 
plentifully Mauduit and Wedderburn to abuse and defame 
them and their agent, is so evident as to need no commeiit. 
But this they call gov£rkm£nt ! ! 
. Here closes the tract, as written by Dr. Franklin. 

It plainly appears by the foregoing lucid statement, and 
the faithful account of the unwarrantable proceedings before 
the lords of the privy council,^ now particularly referred to; 
that when Dr. Franklin, as agent for the province of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, presented the petition for removing tbc 
governor and lieutenant-governor, the ministry made the 
cause of those gentlemen their own; and Wedderburn, in defi- 
ance of the common law and custom of the realm, was or- 
dered to change the object of the court; and, instead of en- 
tering into the merits of the question, to abuse a man who 
had offended them : 

** Search earth, search hell, the devil could not find» 
An ag^ent like Lothahxo, to hia mind." ChurcfdU. 

This, like all atrocious proceedings, raised the indignation 
of the people, and a transient glow was seen in every counte- 
qance. In the first transports of it, even corruption and venality 
spoke the sentiments of vii-tue. Wedderburn was every where 
inentioned with detestation, which was doing him too much 
honor; a little troublesome genius, with words enougli to be 

5 See Vol. IV. p. 109 of tbia edition. 

BfiirJAMiK vuakkunI |{5f 

flMsilile, and cunning enongh to be a tool, can ^evar be a^i 
object for any thing but coptea^t It waa as generous in tha 
pnblic to be ftngry with him, as it would be in a child to da- 
test a brick-bat of a stone, which bad beeVi made use of to 
iojore its benefactor* Those who were somewhere behind the 
acenesy and who ordered the e^M^ibitions which the ostensible 
people w^re only acting, were the proper objects of in^lgWr 
lion; and if there had been Tirtae enough in the nation, (hey 
wonld have been dragged into light, and 8acrifi€e4 to the 
ISierties of the people. 

Administration having at this time a^cceeded in tlieir plana 
in the east, turned their views westvHirdy where alone liberfiy 
seemed to have any refuge, and where therefore their princi^ 
pal efforts must be directed. The same art and the same chi- 
cane had been practised there; but it. was not likely to be 
Intended with the same success. America was not disposed to 
become, like the East Indies, an ajip$niag$ to administration. 
It had raised itself into wealth by a kind industry, which. pro- 
duced virtues, of which administration bad little or no coacep* 
lion; they therefore denominated tliem vices. 

It was evident, that the contest with America was merely 
an affair of administration, with a view to increase the juw** 
ber of places at its disposal, and to facilitate the only method 
tbcy knew of to govern the people. I,t wiU not be wondered 
Aty therefore, that those persons who appeared in behalf of 
the Americans, should undergo all the rage and malice of 
administration. Dr. Franklin had been the most distinguished 
of those, and would long before have been sacrificed to tibeir 
reeentment, if he had not been protected by real integrity end 
by very superior talents. He was sent over4o !ISnglaad to 
(i|fK)8e.tbe stamp act; and the virtaoos and noble strain of ell 
his answers at bis examination before the house of commoBS« 
in February^ I776jf seemed to reproach the times: fliey were 
like the sentiments of an Aristides, and they left d^ imprea* 
aio«9 on the minds of men. For that very reason he wa0 

- f Sec vd. IV. p. J09, of tMs ^^itiop* 
VOL.1. LI 

258 MEM01&8 or 

watched, tried, and tempted. Cunning, allied even iriA 
power, cannot coDimit wickedness in a manly manner. At 
last, something like an occasion arose, and the whoh wis- 
dom of government was employed to make the most of it 
Dr. Franklin had got into his possession the letters of gover- 
nor Hutchinson and lieutenant-governor Oliver, in a wumer 
which he has shown to have been very consistent wA tk 
highest honor and honesty. These letters, which Tfedderton 
called private and confidential ones, were used by fMtWKn 
to produce public measures. Dr. Franklin thought it imifa^ 
as an agent, to send them to Boston, to remove tlie misi^ 
prehensions of his friends tliere concerning all the motimaf 
government, and to direct their resentment to its proper ok- 
jects. A further use was made of the letters than he iatei^ 
ed; and they produced the petition which he was orderelto 
present. The conduct of administration on theoccasioom 
most extra< r Uwry ! The rulers of a great people migbthare 
been expected, oven with any principles, to have bad sooft 
regard to decency. The petition of a large and important {vo- 
vince was going to be considered; administration thought ft 
to turn it into a pastime; they invited their (nends ingMl 
numbers to partake of the entertainment. This serious busi- 
ness was converted into a bull-baiting; Hie nobte cMtnre 
was to be taken by suqirise, to be secured from assistsnoey 
and to be yelped and bit at by a little noisy cur. This w 
proper matter of diversion for a solemn committee of tb 
privy council, and a large audience of the wise and virtmn 
senators of the country! 

But it served to anrnse. The Boston petition bad ttesp 
peanmce of a hearing; and some noise was made aboatw- 
tuCf hnitruthf and honors in ill-grounded invectives Bg^ 
Dr. Franklin. That truly great and good man behdd tie 
childish tricks with thorough contempt; resolved hhnsslfaiit 
to break in upon the proper decorum of public business; ai' 
as he had not come there to squabble with Mr. WeddorbarBy 
and was not, like him, a wrangler by profession, he tboogbt 
it would be greatly letting himself down to take any notice 


of Um. He therefore let the diversien go on; and went home 
fallj determined to make his appeal to a higher and more 
competent tribnnal. 

B«t canning deab in something like plans and schemes of 
miscbiefy which Franklin did not suspect from the talents of 
his aboserd; and if he had^ he could not have provided against 
tiienu On the first rumor of a petition from Boston^ against 
these good friends of administration, Hutchinson and (Hiverf 
th»j determined on the whole plan. When the matter came 
to a hearing, it was to be converted into abuse of Dr. Frank- 
liBy who was to be dismissed from his place the next morn- 
iqgy loaded with all the ignominy and disgrace tliey could 
Iflj upon him. — ^But what was to be done with his understand- 
ing and talents? — ^This man, though in years, and of aphilo- 
80[diical and peaceable turn, might not take all these injuries 
in good part; and Wilkes had given an instance that the peo- 
jda Will favor the oppressed. Tes, and Wilkes had taught 
adounlstratioa, — not virtue — that would have been a mii*acle, 
--littt caution and prudence in committing violence. Wed- 
derbum^s talents would serve on this o^wion ; and he ad- 
vised them to a suit in chancery. WhnHy, banker to the 
treasury, was accordingly ordered to Jilt aWl in chancery 
against Dr. Franklin, for taking away his brother's letters. 
Tbis it seems effectimlly tied up the doctor's hands, and was 
ondoabtedly done with that sole view. For a man cannot even 
defend bis own reputation, when the question on which it de- 
pends 19 what they call, pendant before my lord chancellor. 
The treasury is rich enough to keep this matter pendant a 
Icmg while; and an offender against administration must not 
expect to disobey the rales of chancery, unnoticed by the lord 
cbancellor. This fact, at the same time that it exhibited the 
great wisdom and equity of administration, accounted to the 
pablic for what seemed very strange : « That while a man 
of Dr. Franklin's character and abilities was daily and ma- 
liciously traduced, he had not published a line in his own de- 
fence." The essays which appeared for him in the public pa- 
pers^ were without his participation, and without his know- 


lege. He had however written a full and clear account of the 
part he had taken in all public measures; and the motives 
and Tiews on which he acted, probably with the Intcntiov tf 
submitting it to the consideration of the world whenever k 
coold do it with safety. In the mean time it was the datr 
of his friends, to do what they could to prevent the elTMs 
of the most deliberate and rancorous malice that had erer 
been exerted against an innocent and praiseworthy man. 

£very objection to his conduct was answered at theGne; 
ifild generally well answered; except the plaasihle m, 
trhich was triumphantly made by the friends of adminlstM- 
tlon. They said — tfiat a man holding a place tmder agofen- 
Aient, should be faithful to that government; and that Br. 
Franklin, having a lucrative office, should not hare embnMM 
government, on any account, with the Americans. This wis 
miflhring to be taken for granted, what indeed it vrould B0t 
have been difficult to prove; that the intci*est of adfflinistra- 
tion is one thing, and the interest of the people another. It 
does not signify where the pt opic reside, \vhether in America 
ot*in Middlesex, jp^hto bein;; the case, it is avowing the plain- 
est principle of tyratiny, to maintain that the king's serrants 
are his own, and have no duty or relation to the people! des- 
potic governments perhaps may be alarmed to find this doc- 
trine now condemned' even in the army, which they consider 
tB immediately depending on themseJves, and perfectly sepa- 
rate from the public interest. To the honor of the iDiIitar; 
gentlemen, however, it is a fact, that many officers dcSnc 
their obligations with an integrity and public spirit whick 
would have pleased a Cato. ** We are the king's servants," 
Hay they, " but it is only while the king is the servant of tke 
people.^^ Apply this glorious principle to the case of Dr. 
Franklin; and let the Jifauduits and Wedderhims nibble at it 
to the end of time. 

Shortly after the proceedings before the privy council, Dr. 
Franklin was dismissed from the office of deputy postmaster 
general^ which he held under the crown. It was not only by 


Ids tratisiiiUttioii of the leltei^ of governor Bernard and lien- 
(eiittit-goveriior Hutchinson, that he had given offence to the 
British ministry^ bat by his jpopular writings in favor of 
Ameiica* Two pieces in particular had lately attracted a 
lai*ge share of public attention on both sides of the Atlantic. 
The one purported to be an edict from the king of Prussia,^ 
for taxing the Inhabitants <tf Great Britain^ as descendants 
ai emigrants from his dominions. The other was entitled^ 
^ Biiles for reducing a great empire to a small one ;" * in 
both of which he exposed the claims of the mother country 
mod the proceedings of the British ministry, with the severity 
of poignant satire. 

Pending these transactions, anoth'T antagonist to Dr» 
FranUin's fame started up. A publication by Josiah Tucker^ 
D» D. and dean of Gloucester^ appeared, and occasioned the 
foUowiDg correspondence! by which it will readily be seen^ 
that Dr. Franklin earnestly endeavored to obtain from the 
deao» an open and fair communication of the grounds and 
reasons upon which the latter had relied, in making certain 
diarges against the former; and that he did this in the fullest 
confidence of being able completely to justify iiimself against 
them. And it as readily seen, that Dr. Tucker mast 
. ancandidly endeavora to avoid that communication, and tiiot 
discovery of the truth which it was likely to produce. 

To Dean Tttcker. 
Sevebxnd Sir, London^ February 12, 1774% 

BEING informed by a friend, tliat some severe strictures 
on my conduct and character had appeared in a book pub- 
lished under your respectable name, I purchased and read it. 
After thanking you for those parts of it that are so instruc- 

asanas ■ ■ ' ' ==5ag=s ' ' ' ' 

^ Sec Vol. V. p^pe o64 of this edition, and letter to Thomas Gushing* 
esq.9 Sept. 12, 1773, and to governor Franklin^ October 6, 1773. 
* See A'^oi. V. page 369 of this edition. 


tive on points of great ioipoitance to theconunon interest oT 
mankind, permit me to complain, that if by tiie descriptiiNi 
you give in ptvges 180, 181, of a certain American patriot^ 
whom you say you need not name, you do, as is supposedy 
mean myself, nothing can be further from the truth than your 
assertion, that I applied or used any interest directly or in- 
directly to be appointed one of the stamp officers for Aineri* 
ca; I certainly never expressed a wish of the kind to aaj 
person whatever, much less was I, as you say, «« more than 
ordinarily assiduous on tliis bead/' I have heretofore seen in 
the newspapers, insinuations of the same import, naming ow 
expressly; but being without the name of the writer, I took 
no notice of them. I know not whether they were yoursy or 
were only your authority for your present charge. But now 
that they have the weight of your name and dignified dia- 
racter, I am more sensible of the injury; and I beg leave to 
request, that you would reconsider the grounds on which yoa 
have ventured to publish an accusation, that, if betieved, 
must prejudice me extremely in the opinion of good men, espe- 
cially in my own country, whence I was sent expt'essly to op- 
pose the imposit on of that tax. If on such reconsideration and 
inquiry, you find, as I am persuaded you will, that you have 
been imposed upon by false reports, or have too lightly given 
credit to hearsays in a matter that concerns another's re- 
putation, I flatter myself that your equity will induce yon to 
do me justice, by retracting that accusation. 

In confidence of this, I am with great esteem, reverend 
sir, your most obedient, and most humble servant, 


To Dr. Franklin. 
Sir, Monday, February 21, 1774. 

THE letter which you did me the honor to send to Glou- 
cester, I have just received in London, where I have resided 
many weeks^ and am now returning to Gloucester. On in- 
quiry I find^ that I was mistaken in some circumstances relat- 


IBS to 7^^^ conduct about the stamp act, though right as to 
mMttfice. These errors shall be rectified the first opportu- 
nity. After having assured you^ that I am no dealer in anony* 
moiia newspaper paragraphs, nor have a connection with any 
who are^ I have the honor to be, sir^ your humble servant, 


To Dean Tucker. 

Reverend Sir, 

I RECEIVED your favor of yesterday. If the substance 
of what you have charged me with is right, I can have but 
little concern about any uiistakes in the eircnmstances : 
whether tiiey are rectified or not, will be immaterial. But 
knowing the sobstance to be wrong, and believing that you 
can have no desire of continuing in an error, prejudicial to 
any man's reputation, I am persuaded you will not taka^ 
amiss, if I request you to communicate to me the particulars 
of , the information you have received, that I lAay have an op- 
poftunity of examinini^ them ; and I flatter myself, 1 shall be 
able to satisfy you that they are groundless. I propose this 
method as more decent than a public altercation^ and suiting 
better the respect due to your character. 

With great regard, I have the honor to be, reverend sir^ 
yoor most obedient humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 

To Dr. Franklin. 
S1SL9 Oloucester, Feb. 27, 1774. 

THE request made in yoUr last letter is so very just 
and reasonable, that I shall comply with it very readily. It 
has long appeared to me, that you much exceeded the bounds 
of morality in the methods you pursued for the advancement 
of the supposed interests of America. If it can be proved^ 
that I have unjustly suspected you, I shall acknowlege my 
enor, with as much satisfaction as you can have in reading 
mgr recantation of it As to the case more immediately re- 

S64 HBMOimi OF 

fcrrcd to in yonr letters^ I was repeatedly infomed ftit jn 
had solicited tite late Mr. Creorge GreDvUle for a phceor 
agency in the distribution of stamps in Anierics. FromwUdi 
circumstance I myself coaclttdedf that yon had made istnat 
for it on your own account: whereas I am now infonnrfi 
there arc no positive proofs of your having solicited to oUiiB 
such a place for yourself, but there is sufficient evidence afil 
existing of your having applied for it in favor of aB0tber|Kr 
4»on. If this latter should prove to be the fact, as I am tmt' 
ed it will, I am willing to suppose, from several expresans 
In both your letters, that you will readily acknowlege^tkit 
the difference in this case between yourself and yovrMendi 
is very immaterial to the general merits of the question. Bit 
if you should have distinctions in this case, which are abeve 
my comprehension, I shall content myself with observiigi 
that yonr great abilities and happy discoveries desem mi' 
versal regard ; and that as on theee accounts I eateen ari 
respect yon, so I have the honor to be, sir, your very baaUe 
servant; J. TUCKEB. 

To Dean TwJeer. 

Revebenb Sis, Londmh !%(• ^ 1^^ 

I THANK yon for the frankness with which joocod- 
municated to me the particulars of the informatioa jan ini 
received relating to ray supposed application to Mr. Gro- 
ville for a place in the American stamp office. As I deay thit 
either your former or latter infarmations are true, it seeiV 
incumbent on me, for your satisfaction, to rdate all thdr- 
cumstancea fairly to you that could possibly give rise ta soA 

Some days after the stamp act was passed, to which I kii 
given all the opposition I could, with Mr. GrenvUle, I ^ 
ceived a note from Mr. Whately, bis secretary, desuiagto 
see me the next morning. I waited npoo him uee^^* 
and found with him eevei'al colony agents. He acf aatnte' ^ 
that Mr. GiwviUe was dcsirooa to make the et^a^^^ 


act as little incotivenient and disagreeable to America as pos- 
tSbk} and therefore did not think of sending stamp officers 
froBi this country^ but wished to have discreet and reputable 
persons appointed ii each province from among the inhabit 
tuts^ sach as would be acceptable to them 5 for as they were 
to pay the tax^ he thought strangers should not have the 
enolament Mr. Whately therefore wished us to name for 
oar respective coIonies> informing us that Mr. Grenville would 
ba oUi^ged to us for pointing out to him honest and responsi^ 
bis aeuy and would pay great regard to our nominations* 
B7 this plausible and apparently candid declaration^ we 
wiredrawn in to nominate; and I named for our province 
Mr. Hughes^ saying at the same time» that I knew npt wbe* 
tkar be would accept of it^ but if he did» I was sure he would 
axeGBte the ofllce fa||lifully. I sooi^ after had notice of his ap- 
pointinent. We none of uSf I believe^ foresaw or imagined 
tiiat this compliance with the request of the minister* wouM 
or could have been called an appUcaUon of ours, and adduced 
as a proof of our approbation of the act we had been oppos* 
mg; otherwise I think few of us would have named at all-* 
I aa sare I should not. .This I assure you* and can prove to 
yoa by living jevideuce^ is a true account of the transaction 
u question* which if you compare with that you have been 
induced to give of it in your book* I am persuaded you will 
see a difference that is far from being *^a distinction ahoroe 
pur eomprehension.^^ 

Permit me further to remark* that your expression of there 
hmg** no positive proofs oi my having solicited to obtain such 
a place /or my^e^*" implies that there are nevertheless some 
ctrcvmitantuzZ proofs* sufficient at least to support a suspicion; 
the latter part however of the same sentence** which says* 
^tfaere are sufficient evidence still existing of my having op* 
j/kdfir it in favor of another person*'' must* 1 apprehend* if 
credited* destroy that suspicion* and be considered bs positive 
proof of the contrary; for* if I had interest enou.^h with Mr. 
Grenville to obtain thi:^ place for another, is it likely that it 
would have been refused me* had I asked it for myself? 

VOL. I. Mm 

266 MEMOIRS Olf 

There is another circumstance which I would ofTcr toyoor 
candid consideration. You describe me as « changing rifa, 
and appearing at the bar of the house of commons tscrjr 
down the very measure I had espoused, *and direct the itm 
that was falling upon that minister/' As this must baTebwi 
after my supposed solicitation of the favor for mysdf or nr 
friend; and Mr. Grenvilie and Mr. Whately were bott in 
the house at the time, and both asked me questionSf cin itte 
conceived that offended as they must have been with aacb i 
conduct in me, neither of them should put me in mini! of tUi 
my sudden changing of sides, or remark it to the hoosBytf 
reproach me with it, or require my reasons for it? and ]Rt 
all the members then present know that not a syllabk of 
the kind fell from either of them, or from any of their partj. 

I persuade myself, that by this time^ou begin to smpct 
you may have been misled by your informers. I do notisk 
who they are, because I do not wish to have particular mo- 
tives for disliking people, who in general may deserro oy 
respect They too may have drawn con^egufftces beyond tbe 
information they received from othws, and hearuigtiieolice 
had been given to a person of my nomination, migit as na- 
turally suppose / Iiad solicited it; as Dr. Tuckeiv hearing tM 
I had solicited itf might «< candude*^ it was for myself. 

I desire you to believe that I take kindly, as I ongbt} yev 
freely mentioning to me << that it has long appeared to y«>i 
that I much exceeded the bounds of morality in the methods 
I pursued for the advancement of the supposed interests of 
America." I am sensible there is a good deal of trnth intiie 
adage that our sins and our debts are always mart ttoi '^ 
take them to be; and though I cannot at present, on eWBMk 
tion of my conscience, charge myself with any immoralitj 
of that kind, it becomes me to suspect that what has to^i 9' 
peared to you may have some foundation. You are so good 
as to add that «<4f it can be proved you have unjustly aB" 
pected me, you shall have a satisfaction in acknowl^S^ 
error.'* It is often a thing hard to prove, that suspicions ai« 

BBNJAMIir VfiANKXnr. 257 

«njist> even when we know what they are; and harder when 
we are nnacqaainted with them. I must presume, therefore, 
that in mentioning them you had an intention of communi- 
cating the grounds of them to me, if I should request it, 
wiiich I now do, and, I assure you, with a sincere desire and 
design of amending what you may show me to have been 
immg in my conduct, and to thank you for the admonition. 
In your writings I appear a bad man; but if I am such, and 
yoo can thus help me to become in reality a good one, I sliall 
esteem it more than a suflkief t reparation to, reverend sir> 
your most obedient bumble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 

[Kote by Dr. Franklin, on the rough draft of the foregoing letter.] 

Feb. 7, 1775. No answer has been received to the above 
letter. ' / B.R 

From the preceding correspodence, it is fully evident, that 
this reverend divine was not willing to acknowlege, or even 
find that he had substaittially erred in regard to Dr. Frank- 
lin. Hfa prejudices indeed, appear to have been so deeply 
rooted, and bis desire to do jtistice to one whom he had 
wronged, appears to have been so dormant, that he betrays 
an evident disinclination to ascertain the truth, or allow it to 
opproaeh him, in opposition to these prejudices. With other 
more equitable dispositions, it would have been impossible for 
tlie dean to abstain so pertinaciously from giving any answer 
to Dr. Franklin's last letter. The facts and explanations 
which it contained were so important, and they were stated 
with so much candor and civility, that the dean must have 
&it it to be highly incumbent on him, either to meet those 
facts by others equally conclusive, or to acknowlege that he 
had wrongfully accused Dr. Franklin. The former he covU 
not do, the latter he would not The only expedient then re- 
Miniugi was the unworthy and evasive one of giving no an- 


But to return to objects of more public interest All fte 
expectations that Dr. Franklin had entertained from the good 
character and disposition of the present minister^ lord Dirt- 
moutb, in favor of Anierica» began to wither: noiieoftkB 
measures of his predecessor had even been attempted to k 
changed, but on the contrary new ones had been continoallf 
added, furtlierto exasperate the colonies, render them dc^ 
rate, and drive ttiem into open rebellion. 

In a paper written by Dr. Franklin, <« On the mtodfr^ 
gre$8 of the differences between thfpat Britain and her Mienm 
cokmieSf'^ and supposed to have been published about thistiiM 
(1774,) he states, that soon after the late war, it became as 
object with the Briti^ ministers to draw a revenue froB 
America: the first attempt was by a stamp act ItaooBip 
peared, that this step had not been well considered; aodtet 
the rights, the ability, the opinions, and temper of that greit 
and growing people, had not been sufficiently attended to. 
They complained, that the tax was unnecessary t beeansetJKir 
assemblies had ever been ready to make voluntary gnnts to 
the crown in proportion to their abilities, when duty rcqai^ 
ed so to do^ and unjust, because they had no representatiTC 
in the British parliament, but had parliaments of tbeir owSf 
wherein their consent was given, as it ought to he, in gnxb 
of their own money.'' 

^ The following^ ftrguments on this point were puUished at thetioi^ 
«n English friend' of Dr. Franklin. 

l8t» The insufficiency of the argument, asserting their being viitBiIij 
represented, as compared with the unincorporate towns in Eaglaiid|k« 
been already exploded in the letter signed Jimr PatrU, inserted in tbe 
Gazetteer, Ist of January last; viz. **The inhabitants of such tovss^ 
ing many of them doubtless legal electors of county memben; tndotbtf- 
wise the rest have, by their neighborhood to, and connection vitb, k|d 
voters of the vicinage, opportunity of acquiring the means of giTinf J*" 
struction to, and influencing the conduct of, not only their proper ooostT 
members, but those who represent neighboring boroughs also; sad *• 
future elections of such members will alwaya in some measure depcfldff 
the influence of even many of those who have no legal votes themicH*** 
80 have they a strong chcclfon their conduct, which is not the caic witfc 

BB9JAMIN VBAinUJlf. ^69 

The patliament repealed the act as inexpedient, but in 
another asserted a right of taxing the cdonies^ and binding 

die Americans, in respect of any one member in the whole house, not a 
ttan of them depending on the colonists for his seat in parliament, or for 
their instnietioos." 

3dly, Another erident reason why the colonies cannot be justly d^em* 
ed virtually represented, and in consequence thereof, subjected to inter- 
nal taxation, imposed by parliament, and why they, the colonies, cannot 
be justly compared with auch towns in Great Britain, is because the par- 
fitment of Great Britain cannot impose any internal tax on the inhabitants 
of such towns, but that in so doing they and every member thereof would 
bjr the same act tax themselres also in the same proportion, which is a 
my good security in favor of such towns and other non-electors in Great 
Britain; but which very good security the' colonies in their present state 
are entirely destitute of, insomuch that if they were now to acknoWlege 
a ri^t in the parliament so to tax them (although in the present case a 
voy small suxn) without their previous or concurrent consent, in the pre« 
sent mode of things there is no line drawn that bounds that right, but 
that the same parliament might (after so dangerous a precedent onco 
idopted) call for any part of their remaining fortunes whenever they 
pleased so to do, without any other restraint than the mercy and benevo- 
leace of (in such eaae) an arbitrary power over them, and they the colo- 
nists aught every year after be in danger of hearing of a law (made in 
Gitst Britain some months before, and wherein they had no opportunity of 
pleading for themselves, or of caving their previous or concurrent con- 
sent or dissent), which law might, for any other security they could rely 
on in the present mode of things, take away a quarter, a half, or a larger 
part of their estates, without a line of any "kind of limitation otlier than 
the will and power of a parliament, in such case, despotic over their 
Whole fortunes, without their concurrence or co-operation, which it ap« 
pears would be arbitrary in the strongest point of light 

3d)y, It therefore appears a fair and necessary conclusion, that Great 
Britain must in point of equity and the just rights of the colonists as 
EngHahmcn, other for ever exempt them from, or never demand any in- 
ternal taxes At all, or else a right of representation in parliament must 
^ granted them : which last appears evidently a very salutary measure, 
as necessary to prevent divisions and misunderstandings, and above all 
to prevent the danger of our enemies thereby in future, as soon as re- 
cruited and able^ taking advantage thereof (and perhaps sowing the seeds 
thereof) In order to disunite and weaken this otherwise potent empire, 
vftich being properly united, they our enemies do and will look on with 
CBvy, and may they do so, but utterly in vud, and that for evermore is 

my hearty desire. • Amox Patrxje. 


them in all cases whatsoever! In the following year they fadd 
duties on British manufiictures exported to America* Ob \ 
repeal.of the s^amp act, the Americans had returiied to 
wonted good humor and commerce with Great Britain; 
this n«w act for laying duties reqewed their uneasiness. TbcM' 
and other grievances complained of by the cdonies are 
cincily enumerated in Dr. Franklin's paper aboveme 
and the progressive history of the causes of tiie 
discontents in general. 

TJie whole continent of America now began to < 
Boston poH: bUI, as striking essentially at the libeity ofi 
the colonies; and these sentiments were strongly orgod 
propagated in the American newspapers. 

Sven those colonics which depended most upon the mother 
country for the consumption of their productions, entered mto 
associations with the others; and nothing ^as to be heard of 
but resolutions for the encouragement of their own manufac- 
tures, the consumption of home products, the discouragement 
of foreign articles, and the retrenchment of all superfluities. 

Virginia resolved not to raise any more tobacco, unless the 
grievances of America were redressed. Maryland followed 
that example: Pennsylvania, and almost all the other co)o« 
nies, entered iiito resolutions in the same spirit, with a view 
to enforce a general redress of grievances. 

During these disputes between the two countries, Dn 
Franklin invented a little embkmatieal desigth intended to re- 
present the supposed state of Great Britain and her colonies, 
should the former persist in her oppressive measures, re- 
straining the latter's trade, and taxing their people by lam 
made by a legislature in which they were not represented. It 
was engraved on a copper-plate, from which the annexed is i 
fac simile. Dr. Franklin had many of them struck off oo 
cards, on tlie back of which he occasionally wrote his notes. 
. It was also printed on a half sheet of paper^ with the esqflO' 
nation and mordE which follow it 

[AGKA a^U;a^^^r:4r/^-^^ag|fc/ REDUC'D 


Great Britaix is supposed to have been pta^ced upon the 
globe ; but the Colonies, (that is, her limbs,) being severed 
from hti-f she is seen liFtiug her eyes antl mangled stumps 
to hci?ven ; her shield, which she is unable to wield, lies use- 
less by (ler side ; her iance has pierced Aew England : the 
laurel branch has fallen from the hand of Penn^i-vania : the 
English oak has lost its head, and stands a bare trunk, with a 
few withered branches j briars and thorns are on the ground 
beneath it ; the British shijjs have brooms at their topmast 
heads, denoting their being on sale ; and Britannia herself is 

F«een sliding off' the world, (no longer able to hold its balance) 
her tragments overspread with the label, Date Oboluu 

The Moral. 
History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, 
by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and 
genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of 
one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of 
another^ is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. 
An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and 
advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to 
enjoy ; it being a matter of no moment to the state, whether 
a subject grows rich and flourishing on the Thames or the 
Ohio, in Edinburgh or Dublin. These measures never fail 
to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between 
the people favored and the people oppressed : whence a total 
separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and 
all manner of connections, necessarily ensue, by which the 
whole state is weakened, and perhaps ruined for ever 1 


These sentiments, applied to the picture which they are 
annexed to» were weU calculated to produce reflection; they 
form part of the same system of political ethics, with the fol- 
bwing fragment of a sentence, which Dr. Franklin inserted 
in a political publication of one of his friends:— « The at- 
tempts to establish arbitrary power over so great a part of 
the British empire, are to the imminent hazard of oar most 
nlnable commerce, and of that national strength, security, 
and felicity, which depend on union and liberty;^ — ^The pre- 
servatioii of which, he used to 8a]p^, << had been the great oh* 
ject and labor of his life ; the wh(4^^ being such a thing as the 
world before never saw /" 

In June, 1774, a general congress of deputies from all the 
colonies, began to be universally looked forward to. This 
liadayear before been suggested by Dr. Franklin, in a 
letter to Thomas Gushing, dated July 7, 1773, in which he 
sajrsi-— << But as the strength of an empire depends not only 
on the union of its parts, but on their readiness for united 
exertion of their common force; and as' the discussion 
of rights may seem unseasonable in the commencement 
of actual war, and the delay it might occasion be prcjudt* 
cial to the common welfare; as, likewise, the refusal of 
one or a few colonies, would not be so mocii regarded if tlie 
otiiers granted liberally, which pcrhapl^ by various artifices 
and motives they might be prevailed on to do; and as this 
want of concei*t would deTeat the expectation of general re- 
dress, that otherwise might be justly formed; perliaps it 
wodd be best and fairest for the colonies, in a gen£BAi; 
coiroBsss, now in peace to be assembled, (or by means of 
the correspondence lately proposed,) after a full and solemn 
assertion and declaration of their bights, to. engage firmly 
with each other, that they will never grant aids to the crown 
in any general war, till those rights are recognised by tho 
king and botli houses of parliament; communicating to tho' 
crown this their resolution. Such a step, I imagine, will 
hrmg the dispute to a crisis; and whetiier our demands are 
immediately complied with^ or compulsory measures thought 


of to make us rescind them, ovr ends will finally be obtainadi 
for even the odium accompanying such compulsory attemfflBy 
will contribute to unite and strengthen us; andf in the mean 
time^ all the world will allow that our proceeding has bees 

Such had been the advice of Dr« Franklin ; and^ as he ob- 
serves somewhere^ « a good motion n^ver dies,'* so this was 
eventually acted upon in all its bearings, and was the iSnt 
step to the union of the coloniesy and their final emaacipa- 
tion from Great Britain. 

The first congress asS)9ai^Ied at Fhiladelphiaf September 
ITf 1774. Their first public act was a declaratory resolotiont 
expressive of their disposition with respect to the cokKiy of 
Massachusetts Bay, and immediately intended to confirm aad 
encourage tliat people in their opposition to the oppressive 
acts of the British parliament. This, and other analogous re- 
solutions relative to Massachusetts, being passed, tiie coa- 
gress wrote a letter to general Gage, governor and com- 
mander of the king's troops in that province, in which, after 
repeating the complaints formerly made by the town of Bos- 
ton, they declared the determined resolution of the colonies 
to unite for the preservation of their common rights, in op- 
position to the late acts of parliament, under the ezecution of 
wjiich the unhappy p(!op)e of Massachusetts were oppressed; 
that the colonies had appointed them the guardians of their 
riglits and libeiiies, and that they felt the deepest concern 
that whilst they were pur$uing every dutiful and peaceable 
measure to procure a cordial and effectual reconciliation be- 
tween Great Britain and the colonies, his excellency should 
proceed in a manner that bore so hostile an appearance, and 
which even the oppressive acts complained of did not war- 
rant. They represented the tendency this conduct must have 
to irritate, and force a people, however well disposed to 
peaceable measures, into hostilities, which might prevent tiie 
endeavors of the congress to restore a good understandijig 
with the parent state, and involve them in the horrors of a 
civil war. 



The coBgress also published a decxabation ov HiOATSf 
to which tbey asserted the English colonies of Nortti Ame- 
rica were eHtitled» by the iainiutable laws of nature^ tb^ prin- 
dpfes of the Englisb constitotiooy wd flieir several charters 
or cooqiaGls. 

They then proceeded to frame a petition to the kingf a me- 
modrial to the people of Great Brttaiu^ an address to tlie colo- 
aiea ia geaeraly and another to the inhabitants of the province 
of Qaebec 

These several acts were drawn up with unoomnioB eaergyf 
wMrtaSf and ability : they well deserve the attention of states- 
men, and are to be found in the annals of American history* 

The petition to his msyesty contained an enumeration of 
the grievances of the colonieSf humbly praying redress* It 
was forwarded to England, by the secretary of congress^ 
(Cibaries Thomson), under cover to Dr. Franklin. The pro- 
ceediBgs thereon^ as a document of great interest, will be io- 
aerted in another part of this edition, and will be circumstan-^ 
tialiy noticed in the progress of these memoirs* 

I>r« Franklin^ at this momentous period^ was unceasing in 
Us endeavors to induce the British govarnment to cbmwp 
itB flieasnres with respect to the colonies. In private t^onver- 
4itiO!fifl» in letters to persons connected with government, and 
in writings in the public prints, he continually expatiated up- 
on the impolicy and injiatice of its conduct towards America; 
and stated, in the most energetic manner, that notwithstand- 
ing the sincere attachment of the col<mist8 to the mother 
country^ a continuance of ill treatment most ultimately alien- 
ate their affections. The ministers listened not to his advice^ 
and solemn warnings; they blindly persevered in their own 
tfcliemesy and left to the Americans no alternative but €fifo^ 
ajtioB^ or unconditional submissioB. The latter accorded not 
with tiie principles of freedom which they had been taught 
to reverei to the former they were compelled, though reluc- 
innfly^ to have recourse. 

Dr. Franklin, thus finding all his efforts to restore haram- 
«qr Mween Great Britain and her eotoales ineffectual; and 

VOL. I N n 

274 MEMOias OF 

being looked upon by government wttli a jealous eye, vImv it 
was said^ entertained some thoughts of arresting him^ nrior 
the pretence of his having fomented a rebellion in the oob- 
niesy (of which he received private intimation^) detemnei 
on immediately returning to America, and to this efiect ca- 
barked from England in March, 1775. 

During the passage, he committed to paper a 
and lasting monument of his noble efforts to effect a 
liation, and prevent a breach between Oreat Britain md kr 
colonies (contrary to the insidiouis accusations of bis eaeBuea.) 
This was a relation of the negotiations he had latterly hcei 
concerned in, to bring about so desirable an object, and oob 
he had so much at heart This, like the first part of then 
memoirs, was addressed to bis son, governor Franklin} aad 
intended, no doubt, to be incorporated in them, bad he liied 
to proceed so far in his history. It forms ^acomfdemeiit to Ui 
political transactions while in England, flilly justifies and ex- 
alts his character, and is a document of no mean interest in 
the annals of the American revolution. From these coiisifc* 
rations, the editor conceives he should be inexcusdile in aap- 
pressing, new modelling, or curtailing so valuable a tnct; 
but on the contrary, has great satisfaction, as will no dodit 
the reader, that Dr. Franklin again resumes the pen in a fir- 
tber continuation of these memoirs. 

On board the Pennsylvania Packet^ Capt. O^om, 
bound to Philadelphia^ March 22, 1775. 
Deab 8qk, 
HAVING now a litUe leisure for writing, I will endea- 
vor, as I promised you, to recollect what particulars I caa of 
the negotiations I have lately been concerned in, with regard 
to the misunderstandings between QreaJt Britain and Jkneriau 
During the.recess of the last pai*liament, which had passed 
the severe acts against the province of the Massachusetts 
Bay, the minority having been sensible of their weakness as 
an eflTect of their want of union among themselves^ hegnn to 

BENJAMIN VRjLsKhllf. 275 

think serioiifldy of a coalition* For they saw in the violence 
of these American measures^ if persisted in» a hazard of dis- 
Mmberingy weakenings and perhaps ruining the British em- 
pire. This inclined some of them to propose such an union 
trith each other, as might be more respectable in the ensuing 
session^ have more weight in opposition^ and be a body out 
of which a new ministry might easily be formed, should the 
ID success of the late measures, and the ftrmness of the colo- 
nies in resisting them, make a change appear necessary to 
the king. 

I took some pains to promote this disposition, in conversa- 
tion with several of the principal among tlie minority of both 
hooses, whom I besought and conjured most earnestly, not 
In soffisr, by their little misunderstandings* so glorious a fabric 
08 the present British empire to be demolished by these blun- 
derers^ and for their encouragement assured them, as far as 
ny (^iniona could give any assurance, of the Jirmness and 
WMmmiy of America, the continuance of which was what 
they had frequent doubts of, and appeared extremely appre- 
henuve and anxious concerning it 

From the time of the affront given me at the council board 
» January, 1774,* I had never attended the levee of any mi- 
irister. I made no justification of myself from the charges 
brought against me: I made no return of the injury by abus- 
ing my adversaries; but held a cool sullen ailence, reserving 
mysdf to some future opportunity; for which conduct I had 
several reasons, not necessary here to specify. Now and tlien 
I heard it said, that the reasonable part of the administra- 
tion was ashamed of the treatment they had given me. I sus- 
pectedi that some who told me this, did it to draw from me 
my sentiments concerning it, and perhaps my purposes; but 
I said little or nothing upon the subject. In tlie mean time, 
tlieir measures with regard to New England failing of the 
success that had been confidently expected, and finding tbein- 
sclvcs more and more embarrassed, they began (as it seems) 

* Sec Examination, Vol. IV. p. 109 of this e3ition. 

to tiiiiik of making use of too, if tbey could, to assisi io dis- 
eog»gitig tli^iin. B«t it Wfifi too huntiiiatiog to think of 4^- 
iifg to me openly and directly, and thtu^fore it ma cuaMwd 
to obtain what they^ coold of my sentiflv^itB tiiroagli etiiera. 

The accounts from America, daring the reoessy all man* 
fteted> tliat the measures of administration had nrftber H- 
vided nor intimidated the people there; that 00 the caatrnf 
tiiey were mere and more united and determined $ «aid thuta 
Ddn-iniportation agreement was likely to take place. The 
ministry thence af^rehending that this, by distresaing the 
ti«ding and maaufactaring towns, might ndaeiice Yotm 
against the court ki the elections for a new pwliaaMib 
(^hich were in course to come on the succeeding year,) aad- 
deniy and unexpectedly dissolved the old one, and ordered 
the choice of a new one within the shortest time admitted kfy 
law, befbre the inconveniencies of that agreement could h> 
gfa to \fe felt, or produce any sucii efiect. 

When I came to England in iTSTf you may remember I 
' madi3 several attempts to be introduced to lord Chatham, (at 
that time first minister) on account of my Pennsylvania ba* 
siness, >mt wtthbut success. He was tten too great a mm, or 
too much occupied in affairs of greater moment I vrm there- 
fore obliged to content myself with a kind of non^appamat 
and un-acknowleged oemnmnication through Mr. Potter and 
Mr. Woody his secretaries, w1k> seemed to cultivate aa a^ 
^aintance with me by their civilities, and drew firom b» 
what information I could give relative to the American war, 
with my sentiments occasionally on measures that were pro- 
posed or ladvised by others, wliich gave roe the opportaaily 
of recommending and enforcing the utility of conqaeriagC^ 
nada. I afterwards considered Mr. Pitt as an inoocemife; I 
admired him at a distance, and made no more attempts lor a 
nearer acquaintance. I had only once or twice the aatisfac- 
tion of hearing, through lord Shctbume, and I think l<Nrd 
Stanhope, that he did me the honor of mentioning m 
tunes as a person of respectable x^baractcr. 


Bttt towards ttie^end of August last, returning from Bright- 
faefanstooey I called to visit my friend Mr. Sargent, at his 
fiealy Halsted, in Kent, agreeably to a formel* engagement. 
He let roe know, that be bad promised to conduct me to lord 
Stanbope's at Cbevening, who expected I would call on him 
when I came into that neighborhood. We accordingly wait* 
ed. on lord Stanhope that evening, who told me that lord 
Cfcadiiam desired to see me, and that Mr. Sargent's house, 
wkere I was to lodge, being, in the way, he would call for me 
there the next morning, and carry me to Hayes. This was 
dene juxxirdingly. That truly great roan received me with 
aAiHidaiice of civility, inquired particularly into the situation 
at affidrs in America, spoke feelingly of the severity of the 
late laws against the Massachusetts, gave me some account 
of his speech in opposing them, and expressed great regard 
and esteem for the people of that country, who he hoped 
wcNdd continue firm and united in defending by all peaceable 
and I^al means their constitutional rights. I assured him, 
tbat I Blade no doubt they would do so; which he said he ^as 
pleased to hear from me, as be was sensible I must be well 
acquainted with them. I then took occasion to remark to himt 
tiiat in former cases great empires had crumbled first at their 
eaiteemities, from this cause — ^that countries remote from the 
seat and eye of government, wtiich therefore could not weU 
understand their afiairs, for want of full and true informa* 
Uotif bad never been well governed, but bad been oppress- 
ed by bad governors, on presumption that complaint was dif- 
ficalt to be made and supported against them at such a 
diatance: hence, auch governors had been encouraged to go 
en, till their oppressions became intolerable: but that this 
eaopire bad liappily found and long been in the practice of a 
motbad, whereby every province was well governed, being 
treated in a great measure with the government of itself, that 
benoe had risen such satisfaction in the subjects, knd auch 
eacaaragement to new settlements, that had it not been for 
the late wrong pdltics, (which would have parliament to be 
mnmjgjteidf though it ought not to be, unless it XHMild at tlie 

£78 • MBMOIRS 01 

same time be omniseknti) we might have gone on extendiqg 
our western empire^ adding province to province as far as 
the Sonth Sea: that I lamented the ruin which seemed im- 
pending over so fine a plan, so well adapted to make all tiie 
subjects of tlie greatest empire happy; and I hoped, that if 
liis lordship, with the other great and wise men of the Bri- 
tish nation, would unite and exert themselves, it might yet 
be rescued out of the mangling hands of the present set of 
blundering ministers; and that the union and harmony be- 
tween Britain and her colonies, so necessary to the welfare 
of both, might be restorcd.»-He replied with great politeness, 
that my idea of extending our empire in that manner was a 
sound one, worthy of a great, benevolent, and comprehen- 
sive mind: he wished with me for a good understandtng 
among the different parts of the opposition here, as a means 
of restoring the ancient harmony of the two countries^ which 
he most earnestly, desired; but he spoke of the coaHtbD of 
. our domestic parties as attended with difficulty^ and rather 
to be desired than expected : he mentioned an opinion pre- 
vailing here, that America aimed at setting up for itself as 
an independent state; or, at least, to get rid of the nemgatism 
acts. — ^I assured him, that having more than once travdled 
almost from one end of the continent to the other, and kept 
a great variety of company, eating, drinking, and convers- 
ing with them freely, I never had heard in any conversaiiea 
from any i)erson, drunk or sober, the least expression of i 
wish for a separation, or a hint that such a thing would be 
advantageous to America: and as to the navigation act, the 
main material part of it, that of carrying on trade in British 
or plantation bottoms, excluding foreign ships from our ports, 
and navigating with three quarters British seamen, was as 
acceptable to us as it could be to Britain: that we were even 
not against regulations of the general commerceby parliament, 
provided such regulations were bona fide for the benefit of the 
whole empire, not for the small advantage of one part to the 
great injury of another, such as the obliging our ships to 
call in England with our wine and fruit, from Portugal or 


Spain; the restraints on our manufacturesyin the woollen and 
hat-making brancbesy the prohibiting of slitting-niills^ steel- 
works, &c. He allowed that some amendment might be made 
in those acts; but said those relating to the slitting-miUs,. 
trip-bammerSf and steel-works^were agreed to by our agents 
io ft compromise on the opposition made here to abating the 

In fine, he expressed much satisfaction in my having call- 
ed upon him, and particularly in the assurances I had given 
him, that America did not aim at independence^ adding, that 
be should be glad to see me again as often as might be. I 
said, I should not fail to avail myself of the permission he 
was pleased to give me, of waiting upon his lordship occa- 
sionally, being very sensible of the honor, and of tthe great 
advantages and imjNrovement I should reap from his instruc- 
tive conversation; which indeed was not a mere compliment. 

The new parliament was to meet the 29th of November, 
(1774). About the beginning of that month, being at the 
Boyal Society, Mr. Raper, one of our members, told me 
there was a certain lady who had a desire of playing with 
me at chess, fancying slie could beat me, and had requested 
him to bring me to her: it was, he said, a lady with whose 
acquaintance he was sure I should be pleased, a sister of lord 
Howe's, and he hoped I would not refuse the challenge. I 
said, I had been long out of practice, but would wait upon 
the lady when ho and she should think fit. He told me where 
ber house was, and would have me call soon and without fur- 
ther introduction, which I undertook to do; but thinking it a 
little awkward, I postponed it; and on the SOtb, meeting him 
again at the feast of the society election, being the day after 
the parliament mt't, he put me in mind of my promise, and 
that I had not kept it, and would have me name a day when 
he said he would call for me and conduct me. I named the 
Friday following. He called accordingly: I went with him^ 
played a few games with the lady, whom I found of very sen- 
sible conversation and pleasing behavior, which induced me 
to agree most readily to an appointment for another meeting 

e%0 aiEMOIBS ov 

a few days afterwards : though I had not the kast apprehen- 
sion that any p<4itical business could have any OHiiiection 
with this new acquaintaiice* 

On the Thursday preceding this chess party, Mr. Da?id 
Barclay called on ine, to have some discourse conceming liw 
meeting of merchants to petition parliament. When that wis 
over, he spoke of tiie dangerous situation of American af- 
fairs, the hazard that a civil war might be brought on by the 
present measures, and the great merit that person would have 
who could contrive some means of preventing so Cerribk t 
calamity, and bring about a reconciliation. He was then pleas- 
ed to add, that he was persuaded, fi*om ray knowlegeof both 
countries, my character and influence in one of them, and 
my abilities in business, no man had it so much in bis po««r 
as mysdf. I naturally answered, that I should be very happy 
if I could in any degree be instrumental in so good a work, 
but that I saw no prospect of it; for, thon^ I was svre the 
Americans were always willing and ready to agree up«i maj 
'equitable terms, yet I thought an accommodatioB impradicai- 
Ide, unless both sides wished ft; and by what I coiiM judge 
from the proceedings of the ministry, I did not believe tbqr 
bad the least disposition towards it; that they rather wished 
to provoke the North Americim people into an open rrtdfioa, 
whidh might justify a military execution, and thereby gratify 
• grounded malice wbich I conceived to exist here agaiflsl 
the wUgs and 'dissenters of that country. Mr. Barday ap- 
]M*ebea4ed I jodgedi too hardly of the ministers; he was pcf^ 
^aaded they were not all of that temper, and he fanckd they 
nvould be Yery glad to get out of their present embarrass- 
ment on any terms, only saving the honor and dignity af 
govarnment He wished, therefm, that I woiild think fif Ike 
matter, and be would cafll again and converse wfth me finv 
titer upon it. I said I would do so, as be requested it, hot I 
bad no 'Opinion of its answering any purpose. We |iarted 
npoB^tbis. B«l two days after I received a letter (tarn biBf 
inclosed in a nete from Vr. Fothei^gjU, both w4iic& MIgw. 

BBJrjAMiir FEAVKxnr, 281 

Yimngsburtf, near Ware, 3d 12 tito. 1774. 


AFTER we parted on Thursday last, I accidentally 
met our mutoal friend Dr. Fothergill, in my way heme, and 
jBtioiated to him the subject of our discourse; in consequence 
ef whicbf If*eceived from him an invitation to a further con* 
ference on tliis momentous affair, and I intend to be in town 
tomorrow accordingly, to meet at his house between four and 
Ave o'clock; and we unite in the request of thy company. 
We are neither of us insensible, that the affair is of that 
wigmtude as .should almost deter private persons from med- 
ding with it; at the same time we are respectively such well- 
'wishere to the cause, that nothing in our power ought to be 
left oadone, though the utmost of our efforts may be unavaiU 
Me. I am thy respectful friend, DAVID BARCLAY. 
A*. FravkUUf Craven street 

DR. FOT*BERGILL presents his respects to Dr. l^rank- 
Mill and hiq;ics for the favor of his company in Harper street 
to flioiTow evening, to meet their mutual friend David Bar- 
day, to confer on American affairs. As near five oVlock as 
nay be convenient. 

HBtrper street, Sd insU 

The time thus appointed was the evening of the day on 
wbieb I was to have my second chess party with the agreea- 
ble Mrs. Bowe, whom I met accordingly. After playing as 
long as we liked, we fell into a little chat, partly on a mathe- 
mafical problem,"^ and partly about the new parliament then 
just met, when she said, << And what is to be done with this 
dispute between Great Britain and the colonies? I hope wo 


^ ThiB lady (vhich is a little unusual in ladies,} has a good deal of 
lUdiemalical knowlege. IMte ofJ)r. FrankUn.^ 

VOL. I. o 



are not to have a civil war." Tbey shottld kiss and be Ineiidfl^ 
said I ; what can tliey do better? Quarrelling can be <tf servioe 
\o nQither, but is ruin to both. <• I have often said," replied 
she, ** that 1 wished government would employ yoa to setds 
the dispute for 'them; I am sure nobody could do it so wdL 
Do not you think that the thing is practicable?" Undoofatedl;^ 
madam, if the parties are disposed to reconciliation; for ti» 
two countries have really no clashing interests todiflbraboat 
It is rather a matter of punctiUio, wliich two or three rea- 
sonable people might settle in half an hour. I thank yon t» 
the good opinion you are jileased to express of me; but ffat 
ministers will never think of employing me In that gooi 
work; they chuse rather to abuse me. « Aye," said sbe^'^tii^ 
have behaved shamefnliy to you. And indeed some of thrai 
are now ashamed of it themselves.".....! looked upon this as ac- 
cidental conversation, thought no more of it, and wentinlhe 
evening to the appointed meeting at Dr. Fotbergill% where 
I found Mr. Barclay with him. 

The doctor expatiated feelingly on the mischlefe likely to 
ensue from the present difference, the necessity of aocowott- 
dating it, and the great merit of being instrumental in so good 
a work; concluding with some compliments to me; that no- 
body understood the subject so thoroughly, and bad a better 
head for business of the kind; that it seemed therefore a dnty 
incumbent on me, to do every thing I could to accomplish a 
reconciliation ; and t at as he had with pleasure heard fron 
David Barclay, that I had promised to think of it, he 1k^ 
I had put pen to paper, and formed some plan for consldcrB- 
tion, and brought it with me. I answered, that I had fonwd 
no plan ; as the more I thought of the proceedings agaim^ the 
colonies, the more satisfied I was that tliere did not exist the 
least disposition in the ministry to an accommodation; that 
therefore all plans must be useless. He said, I might be ohs- 
taken; that whatever was the violence of sbme, he bad rea- 
son, good reasofif to believe others wigte differently diapoeed; 
and that if I would draw a plan which we three upon cowi- 
dering should judge reasonable, it might be made use ofi and 

answer some good purpose, since he bdieved that either him- 
self or David Barclay could get it communicated to some 
ef the most moderate among the ministers, who would con* 
sider it with attention; and what appeared reasonable to us, 
two of us being Englishmen, might appear so to them. As 
^y both urged this with great earnestness, and when I men- 
tioned tlie impropriety of my doing any thing of the liind at 
the time we were in daily expectation of hearing from the 
congress, who undoubtedly would be explicit on the means of 
Ksloring a good onderatanding, they seemed impatient, al- 
hging that it was uncertain wlien we should receive the re- 
solt of the congress, and what it would be; that the least de« 
lay might be dangerous; that additional punishments for 
New England were in contemplation, and accidents might 
widen the breach, and make it irreparable; therefore, some- 
dang preyentive could not be too soon thought of and appli* 
ed. I was, therefore, finally prevailed with to promise doing 
whattfaey desired, and to meet them again on Tuesday even« 
ing at the same place, and bring with me something, for their 

Accordingly, at the time, I met with them, and produced 
the following paper. 

Upon the subject of terms that might probably produce a dura- 
ble union between Britain and the colonies. 

1. The tea destroyed to be paid for. 

2. The tea-duty act to be repealed, and all the duties that 
ha?e been received upon it to be repaid into the treasuries of 
the several provinces from which they have been collected. 

S. The acts of navigation to be all re-enacted in the co- 

4. A naval officer appointed by the crown to reside in 
each colony, to see that those acts are observed. 

5. All the acts restraining manufactures in the colonies, 
to be repealed. 

6. All duties arising on the acts for rc^^lating trade with 
tte colonies^ to be for the public use of the respective colonies. 


and paid into their treasuries. Tlie collectors and custom- 
house officers to be appointed by each governor^ and not seat 
from England. 

7. In consideration of the Americans maintaining thar 
own peace establishment^ and the monopoly Britain is to have 
of their commerce^ no requisition to be made from them in 
time of peace. 

8. No troops to enter and quarter in any colony, but 
' with the consent of its legislatui*e. 

9. In time of war, on requisitiort made by the king, with 
the consent of parliament, every colony shall raise money by 
the following rules or proportions, viz. If Britain, on account 
of the war, raises 3s. in the pound to its land tax, then the 
colonies to add to their last general provincial peace tax a 
sum equal to one-fourth thereof; and if Britain on the same 
account pays 4s. in the pound, then the colonies to add to 
their said last peace tax a sum equal to half thereof; which 
additional tax is to be granted to his majesty, and to be em- 
ployed in raising and paying men for land or sea service^ 
furnishing provisions, transports, or for such other purposes 
as the king shall require and direct: and though no colony 
may contribute less, each may add as much by voluntary 
grant as they shall think proper. 

10. Castle William to be restored to the province of the 
Massachusetts Bay, and no fortress built by the crown in any 
province, but with the consent of its legislature. 

11. The late Massachusetts and Quebec acts to be re* 
pealed, and a free government granted to Canada. 

12. All judges to be appointed during good behavior, with 
equally permanent salaries, to be paid out of the province re- 
venues by appointment of the assemblies: or, if the judges 
are to be appointed during the pleasure of the crown, let the 
salaries be during the pleasure of the assemblies, as here- 

13. Governors to be supported by the assemblies of each 

14. If Britain will give up its monopoly of the Ameri« 
can commerce, then the aid abovementioned to be given by 
America in time of peace, as well as in time of war. 

15. The extension of the act of Henry VIII.> concerning 
treasimsy to the colonies, to be formally disowned by parlia- 

16. The American admiralty-courts reduced to the same 
powers they haye in England, and the acts establishing them 
to be re-enacted in America. 

ir. All powers of internal legislation in the colonies to 
be didclaimed by parliament 

In reading this paper a second time, I gave my reasons at 
length for each article. 

On the ^T9i I observed, that when the injury was done, 
Britain bad a right to Ttpara&fm^ and would certainly have 
had it on demand, as was the case when injury was done by 
mobs in the time of the stamp act: or she might have a right 
to retnm an equal injury, if she rather chose to do that; but 
she could not have a right hoih to t^avaiitm and to return an 
eguai itt;iiry, much less had she a right to return the injury 
ten or twenty fold, as she had done by blocking up the port 
of Boston: all which extra injury ought, in my judgment, 
to be repaired by Britain: that therefore if paying for the 
tea was agreed to by me, as an article fit to be proposed, it 
was merely from a desire of peace, and in compliance with 
tteir opinion expressed at our first meeting, that this was a 
rinefaa non, that the dignity of Britain required it, and that 
if this were agreed to, every tiling else trould be easy: this 
reasoning was allowed to be just; but still the article was 
thought necessary to stand as it did. 

On the 2d, That the act should be repealed, as having ne- 
ver answered any good purpose, as having been the cause of 
the present mischief, and never likely to be executed. That 
the act being considered as unconstitutional by the Ameri- 
cans, and what the parliament had no right to make, they 


must consider all the money extmied hjittmao much wroog- 
fuily takcHf and of. wfiich therefore restitution oiight to be 
made; and the rather as it would furnish a fundt <N|t <rf 
which the payment for the tea destroyed might best be de* 
frayed. The gentlemen were ot opinion^ that the first pait 
of this article^ Tiz. the repeal^ might be obtained^ but not the 
refunding party and therefore advised striking that oat: but 
as i thought it just and right, 1 insisted on its stan4tiig. 

On the Sd and 4th articles 1 observed^ we were freqoentfy 
charged with views of abolishing the navigation act Tha^ 
in truths those parts of it which were of most importance ti» 
Britain, as tending to increase its naval strength^ viz. tbaat 
restraining the trade, to be carried on only in ships bebng- 
ing to British subjects, navigated by at least three qnanters 
British or colony seamen, &&i, were as acceptable to oa as 
they could be to Britain, since we wished to employ oor own 
ships in preference to foreigners, and bad no desire to see 
foreign ships enter our ports. That indeed the obliging as to 
land some of our commodities in England before we could 
carry them to foreign markets, and forbidding oor impor- 
tation of some goods directly fmm foreign countries^ we 
thought a hardship, and a greater loss to us than gain to Bri* 
tain, and therefore proper to be repealed: but as Britain had 
deemed it an equivalent for her protection, we had never ap- 
plied or proposed to apply for such repeal; and, if they most 
be continued, 1 thought it best (since the power of parlia- 
ment to make them was now disputed) that they slmoid be 
re-enacted in all the colonies, which would demonstrate tbdr 
consent to them: and then if, as in the aii^th article, all the 
duties arising on them were to be> collected by officers ap- 
pointed and salaried in the respective governments, and the 
produce paid into their treasuries, I was sure the acts wooU 
be better and more faithfully executed, and at much leas ex- 
pense, and one great source of misunderstanding removed 
between the two countries, viz. the calumnies of low officers 
f^ointed from home, who were for ever abusing the people 
of the country to government^ to magnify their own zeal^ 


•ad recommend themselves to promotion. That the exten«> 
8100 of the admiralty jurisdiction, so much complained ofy 
would then no longer be ne« essary $ and that besides its being ' 
the interest of the colonies to execute those acts, nvhich is the 
best mrity, government might be satisfied of its being done, 
from accounts to be sent home by the navid officers ot the 
4tb article. The gentlemen were satisfied with these reasons^ 
and approved the dd and 4th articles; so they were to stand. 

The 5th they apprehended would meet with difficulty. They 
said, that restraining manufactures in the colonies was a fa- 
vorite idea here; and therefore they wished that article to be 
omitted, as the proposing it would alarm and hinder perhaps • 
the considering and granting others of more importance: but 
as I insisted on the equity pf allowing all subjects in every 
country to make the most of their natural advantages, they 
dmired^would at least alter the last word from repealed to 
ncMtidered, which I complied with. 

In maintaining the 7th article (which was at first objected 
to, on the principle that all under the care Of government should 
pay towards the support of it,) my reasons wei*e, that if evc- 
jy distinct part of the king's dominions supported its own 
government in time of peace, it was all that could justly be 
required of it; that all the old or confederated colonies had 
done so from their beginning; that their taxes for that pur- 
pose were very considerable; that new countries had many 
pablic expenses which old ones were free from, the works be- 
ing done to their bands by their ancestors, snch as making 
roads and bridges, erecting churches, court-houses, forts, 
quays, and other public buildings, ibonding schools and 
places of education, hospitals and alms-houses, &c. &c.; that 
the Tolontary and the legal subscriptions and taxes for such 
porposes, taken together, amounted to more than was paid 
by equal estates in Britain. That it would be best for Britain, 
on two accounts^ not to take money from us as contribution 
to its public expense, in time of peace; first, for that just so 
much less wooM be got from us in commerce, since all we 
conid spare was already gained from us by Britain in that 

288 MEtfoiRS 07 

way; ftnd secondly, that coming into the hands of 
ministers, accastomed to prodigality of public moneyt it wodd 
be squandered and dissipated, answering no good general 
purpose. That if we were to be taxed towards the support of 
government in Britain, as Scotland has been since ttv^nioB, 
we ought then to be allowed the same privileges in trade as 
she has been allowed. That if we are called upon to give t» 
the sinking fund or the national debt, Ireland ought to be 
likewise called upon; and both they and we, if we gaye, ought 
to have some means established of inquiring into the impli- 
cation, and securing a compliance with the terms on whldi 
we should grant. That British ministers would {lerh^is not 
like our meddling with such matters ; and that hence might 
arise new causes of misunderstanding. That upon the whok^ 
therefore, I thought it best on all sides, that no aids shall be 
asked or expected from the colonies in time of peace; that It 
would then be their interest to grant bountifully, and exert 
themselves vigorously in time of war, the sooner to put an 
end to it That specie was not to be liad to send to England 
in supplies, but the colonies could carry on war with (heir 
own paper money; which would pay troops, and for provi- 
sions, transports, carriages, clothing, arms, &c. 80 this TA 
article was at length agreed to without further objection. 

The 8th the gentlemen were confident would never be 
granted. For the whole world would be of opinion that the 
king, who is to defend all parts of his dominions, should have 
of course a right to place his troops where they might best 
answer that purpose. I supported the article upon principles 
equally important in my opinion to Britain as to the colonics: 
for that if the king could bring into one part of his doni* 
nions, troops raised in any other part of them, without the 
consent of the legislatures of the part to which they were 
brought, he might bring armies raised in America into Ei^- 
land without consent of parliament, which probably would 
not like it, as a few years since they had not Ijked the intro* 
duction of the Hessians and Hanoverians, though justified 
by the su[4)osition of its being a time of danger. That if thete 

should be at any time real occasion for British troops ia 
Ameriea, there was no doubt of obtaining the consent of tho 
assemblies there; and I was so far from being willing to dropt 
this articlej> that I thought I ought to ad|| another* requiring 
all the present troops to be withdrawrif before America could 
he expected to treat or agree upon any terms of accommor 
dation; as what they should now do of that kind might he 
deemed the effect of compulsion, the appearance of which^ 
oqgfat as lauch as possible to be avoided, since, those reasona- 
We things might be agreed to, where the parties seemed at 
|e«8t to act freely, which would be sirongly refus d under 
threats, or the semblance of force. That the withdrawing the 
troops was therefore necessary to make any treaty durably 
Knding on the part of the Americans, since proof of bav- 
iog acted under force, would invalidate any agreement: and 
it could be no wonder that we should insist on the crown's 
having no right to bring a standing army among us in time 
of peace; when we saw now before our eyes a striking in-^ 
flianceof the ill use to be made of it, viz. to distress the 
king's aabjects in di&brent parts of his dominionis, one part 
after the other, into a submission to arbitrary power, which 
was the avowed design of the army and fleet . now placed at 

Boston. Finding me obstinate, the gentlemen consented to 

let this stand, but did not seem quite to approve of it: they 
wished, they said, to have this a paper or plan, that they might 
show as containing the sentiments of considerate impartial 
persons, and such as they might as Englislimen support, 
which tliey thought could not well be the case With this 

The 9th article was so drawn, in compliance with an idea 
of Dr. FothergilFs, started at our fii-st meeting, viz. tbatgo- 
▼emoient here woqld probably not be satisfied with the pro- 
wise of voluntary grants in time of war from the assemblies, 
of which the quantity must be uncertain ; tliat therefore it 
would be best to proportion them in some way to tlie shillings 
in the pound raised in England; but how such proportion couU 
' VOL.L Pp 

^90 MEMOIRS olir 

be aacertiiined he was at a loss to contrife; I was desired to con* 
sider it It had been said^ too, that parliament was become jeal- 
oas of the right claimed and bci*etofore used hy the crown, of 
raising money in the colonies without parliamentary conseot; 
and therefore, since we would not pay parliamentary taxes, 
future requisitions must be made with consent of parliamrat, 
and not otherwise. I wondered that the crown should be wll- 
Ung to give up that separate right, but had no objection to 
its limiting itself, if it thought projier: so I drew the artide 
accordingly, and contrived to proportion the aid by the tax 
of the last year of peace. And since it was thought that the 
method I should have liked best would never be agreed to^ vis. 
a continental congress to be called by the crown, for answer- 
ing requisitions and proportioning aids; I chose to leave room 
for voluntary additions by the separate assemblies, that the 
crown might have some motive for calling them together, and 
cultivating their good will, and they have some satisfaction 
in showing their loyalty and their zeal in the common caose, 
and an opportunity of manifesting their disapprobation of 
a war, if they did not think it a just one. This article there- 
fore met with no objection from them; and I had another rea- 
son for liking it, viz. that the view of the proportion to be 
given in time of war, might make us the more frugal in time 
of peace. 

For the 10th article^ I urged the injustice of seizing timt 
fortress, (which had been built at an immense charge by the 
province, for the defence of their port against national ene- 
mies) and turning it into a citadel for awing the town^ re* 
straining their trade, blocking up their port, and depriving 
them of their privileges : that a great deal bad been said of 
their injustice in destroying the tea; but here was a much 
greater injustice uncompensated, that castle having cost the 
province three hundred thousand pounds: and that such m 
use made of a fortress they had built, would not only eflfec- 
tually discourage every colony from ever building another, 
and thereby leave them more exposed to foreign enemies, but 
was a good reason for their insisting that the crown should 


never erect any hereafter in tlieir limits without the consent 
of the legislature; the gentlemen had not much to say 
against this article; but thought it would hardly be admitted. 
The 11th article it was thougiit would be strongly object- 
ed to; that it would be urged the old colonists could have no- 
thing to do with tlie affairs of Canada, whatever we had with 
those of the Massachusetts; that it would be considered as 
an officious meddling merely to disturb government; and that 
some even of the Massachusetts acts were thought by adrni* 
nistration to be improvements of that government^ viz. those 
dtering the appointment of counsellors, the choice of jury- 
men, and the forbidding of town meetings. I replied, that we 
having assisted in the conquest of Canada, at a great ex- 
pense of blood and treasure, had some right to be considered 
in the settlement of it: that tho establishing ah arbitrary 
government on the back of our settlements might be danger- 
ous to us all; and that loving liberty ourselves, we wished it 
to be extended among mankind, and to have no foundation 
for fnture slavery laid in America. That as to amendin'g the 
Massachusetts government, though it might be shown that 
every one of the^e pretended amendments were real mischiefs, 
yet that charters being compacts between two parties, the 
king and the people, no alteration could be made in them, 
even for the better, but by the consent of both parties. That 
the parliament's cl«im and exercise of a power to alter our 
charters, which had always been deemed inviolable but for 
forfeiture, and to alter laws made in pursuance of these char- 
ters which had received the royal approbation, and thence- 
forth deemed fixed and unchangeable, but by the powers that 
made them, had rendered all our constitutions uncertam, and 
set us quite afloat: that as by claiming a right to tax us oit 
fiMitm, they deprived us of all property; so by this claim of 
altering our laws and chai-ters at will, they deprived us of all 
privilege and right whatever, but what we should hold at their 
pleasure: that this was a situation we could not be in, and 
must risk life and every thing rather than submit to it :.....80 
this article remained. 

^ I 


The 12th article I explained, by acquaintifig the getitleneB 
with the former situation ot* the judges in moet colonies, Tis« 
that they were appointed by the crown, and {Mud by the as* 
seniblics: that the apitointment being dmrtiig the pleasu^of 
the crown, the salary had been doring the pleasure of tbeas^ 
■embly: that when it iuis been urged against the assemUieSf 
that their making judges dependant on them for their satarirsy 
was aiming at an undue influence over the courts of justice} 
the assemblies usually replied, that making theMHT dependant 
on the crown for Continuance in their places, was also retais- 
ing an undue influence over those courts; and that one andW 
influence was a proper balance for the other; but that when* 
ever the crown would consent to acts making the judges dur- 
ing jrood behavior f the assemblies would at the same time grast 
their salaries to be permanent during their coiitinuaiice in 
<db:e. This the crown has however constancy refused: and 
this equitable ofler is now again here proposed; the cdonies 
not being able to conceive why their judges shoidd not be rem* 
dered as independent as those in England: that, on tte con-^ 
trary,. the crown now claimed to make the judges in the colo- 
nies dependant on its favor for both place and salary, both to bo 
continued at its pleasure : this the colonies must oppose as in- 
equitable, as putting botli the weights into one of the scales of 
justice: if therefore the crown does not chuse to comaiasioB 
the ju^s during good behavior, with efually permanent sa- 
larifs, the alternative proposed, that the salaries continue ta 
be paid during the pleasure of the assemblies as heretofore. 
Tiie gentlemen allowed this article to be reasonable. 

The Idth was objected to, as nothing was generally thoi^t 
Bore reasonable here^ than that the king should pay Us own 
governor, in order to render him independent of the peoph^ 
who otherwise knight aim at influencing him against bis dn^^ 
^y occasionally withholding his salary. To this I snawweA, 
that governors sent to the colonies were often men of no ca» 
late or principle, who came morely to nmbe fortunes, imi hai 
no natural regard for the country they vrere to govern: tbal 
to make them quite independent of the peoplei WM to 

ttien carekas of their cooduct, whether it was ben^K 
mischievoQS to the public^ and giving a loose to their K 
eions and oppressive dispositions: that the inflaence suppose^ 
eoald never extend to operate any th'mg prejudicial to the 
king's service^ or the interest or Britain r since the governor 
wss bound by a set of particular instructions^ which he had 
liven surety to observe; and all tiie Jaws he assented to wero 
subject to be repealed by the crown if found improper: that 
tte payment of the salaries by the people was more safisfao 
toiyto tlieoif as it was productive of a good understandings 
and mutual good olBces between gt)vernor and governed, and 
therefore the innovation lately made in that respect at Boston 
and New Yotk had in my opinion better be laid a^ 
ibis article was suflR^red lo remain. 

But the 14th was thought totally inadmissible. Tbo mo- 
nopoly of the American commerce could never be given up,^ 
and the proposing it would only give offence without answer- 
tog aay good purpose. I was therefore prevailed on to strike 

The 15th was readily agreed to. 

The I6lh it was tliought would be of little consequence^ if 
the duties were given to the colony treasuries. 

The 17th it was thought could hardly be obtained^ but 
might be tried. 

Thus having gone through the whole, I was desired to 
ikiake a fair copy for Dr. Pothergill, who now informed us^ 
that having an opportunity of seeing daily lord Dartmouth* 
of whose good disposition he bad a high opinion, he would 
communicate the paper to him» as the sentiments of consi- 
derate persons who wished the welfare of hotli countries. Sup- 
posei said Mr. Barclay, I were to sliow this paper to lord 
fiyde; would there be any thing amiss in so doing? He is a 
Tery knowing man, and though not in the ministry, properly 
peaking, he is a good deal attended to by them. I have some 
icquaintance with him, we converse freely sometimes, and 
perhaps if he and I were to talk these articles over, I should 
commonicate to him our conversation upon them^some good 

294 * ifElfen^ OF 

night arise out of it Dr. Fothergill had no oVjectioa; aid 
I said I could haveliooe. I knew lord Hyde a littley and had 
an esteem for him. I bad drawn the paper at their requestf 
and it was now theirs to do with it what they pleased. Mr. 
Barclay then proposed, that I should send the fair copy l» 
hitDf which after maKcing one for Dr. Fothergill and odc for 
bimselfi he would return to me. Another question then aroaey 
whether I had any objection to their mentioning that I bad 
been consulted? I saidi none that related to myself; bat it 
was my opinion* if they wished any attention paid to the pro- 
positions, it would be better not to mention me; the ministiy 
having, as I conceived, a prejudice against me and every 
thing that came from me. They said on that consideration it 
miglit be best not to mention me, and so it was concluded. 
For my own part, I kept this wliole proceeding a proiband 
secret; but I soon after discovered that it had taken air by 
some means or other. 

Being much interrupted the day following, I did not copy 
and send the paper. The next morning I received a note from 
Mr. Barclay, pressing to have it before twelve o'dock. I 
accordingly sent it to him. Three days after I received the 
following note from him. 

D. Barclay presents hb respects, and acquaints Dr. Frank* 
lin, that being informed a pamphlet, entitled « A FmBiniLT 
Adiirbss,'* has been dispersed to the disadvantage of Ame- 
rica, (in particular by the dean of Norwich) he desires Dr. 
Franklin will peruse tlte inclosed, just come to band from 
America; and if he appproves of it, republish it, as D. Bar- 
clay wishes something might be properly spread at Norwich* 
D. Barclay saw to-day a person with whom be bad beea 
yesterday, (before he called on Dr. Franklin) and bad the 
satisfaction of walking part of the way with him to another 
noble person^s house, to meet on the business, and he told 
him, that he could say, that he saw some light 

Cheapside^ 11th inst. 

The person so met and accompanied by Mr. Barclay, I un- 
derstood to be lord Hyde» going either to lord Dartmouth's 
or lord Noi*th's» I knew not which. 

In the following week arrtTed the proceedings of the con- 
gress, which had been long and anxiously expected^ .both by 
tke friends and adversaries of America. 

The petition of congress to the kingf if^as inclosed to me^ 
aad accompanied by the following letter from their presideat^ 
addressed to the American agents in London^ as follows: 

To Paul Wentwokth, Esq., Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Wil- 
liam BoLLEN, Esq., Dr. Arthur Lee, Thomas Life, Esq., 
Edmund Burke, Escf., Charles Garth, Esq. 
Gentlemen, Philadelphia, October 26, 1774. 

WE give you the strongest pro^ of our reliance on 
your zeal and attachment to tlie happiness of Amerjca^ and 
tiie cause of liberty, when we commit the inclosed papers to 
your care. 

We desire you will deliver the petition into the hands of 
his majesty J and after it has been presented, we wish it may 
be made public through the pressj together with the list of 
grievances. And as we hope for great assistance from the 
spirit, virtue, and justice of the nation ; it is our earnest desire, 
tJiat the most effectual care be taken, as early as poasible, to 
furnish the trading cities and manufacturing towns through- 
out the united kingdom, with our memorial to tlic people of 
Great Britain. 

We doubt not but that your good sense and discernment 
will lead you to avail yourselves of every assistance that may 
be derived fi*oi|i the advice and friendsliip of all great and 
good men, who may incline to aid the cause of liberty and 

The gratitude of America, expressed in the inclosed vote 
of thanks,"^ we desire may be conveyed to the deserving ob- 

* This piece is wanting^; but it was a vote of congress declaratory, in 
tHdr own names^ and in the behalf of all those whom they represented 

i^96 MBMOIftS Olf 

jects of it, in the maniier that you tliiiik wiU be moak aooe^- 
able to tbeni. 

It 18 proposed, that another congress be held on the lOlh 
May next, at this place; but In the mean time we htg the 
favor of you, gentlemen, to transmit to the speakers of the 
several assemblies, the earliest information of the BMirt aa- 
jthentic accounts you can collect, of ail such coaduct and 
designs of minietry or pariiament, as it may conotfn Ame* 
rica to know. 

We are with unreigned esteem and regard^ gendemen, bj 
order of the congress, 



Mott Gracitnu Sovereign, 

WE your majesty's fattbfhl subjects of the colonieB of New 1 
Mve, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plaqtatiofis^ Cm^ 
nectictity New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the counties of Newcastle^ 
Kent, and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North CaioUn«« sad 
South Carolina, in behalf of ourselves and the inhabitaats of those colo- 
nies who have deputed us to represent them in general eoogrets, fay this 
our bumble petition, beg leave to lay our grievances before the thrqiw. 

'A standing army has been kept in these colonies, ever since the ooa- 
duaioR of the late war, without the consent of our assemblies: and thii 
army with a considerable naval armam^t has been employed to enfiuce 
the collection of taxes. 

The authority of the commander in chief, and under him, of the fcB»> 
gadiers-genera!, has in time of peace been rendered supreme is all tin 
civil governments in America. 

The commander in chief of all your majesty's forces in North Ame- 
rica has, in time of peac^, been appointed governor of a colony. 

The charges of usual offices have been greatly increased; and new ex- 
pensive and oppressive offices haiw been multiplied. 

The judges of admiralty and vke-adniralty oourts lore enqpowei^ la 
receive their salaries and ftcs from the effects condemned by themselves. 

qeegeggBsaaaaegeaagagng , i, i i ^=gaga«aiBgnKg=asa=g8aaaasaB— ea:^a— P 

of their most grateful acknowlegements, to those truly noble, hoAonM^ 
and patriotic advocates of civil and religious liberty, who bad so gene* 
Tously snd powerful^, though unsuccesa&Uy, espoused and defended Uk 
cause of America, both in and out of parliament. 


The offioen of the customs are empowered to break open and enter 
bottsesy without the authority of any civil magistrate, founded on civil 

The judges of courts of common law have been made entirely depen- 
dant on one part of the legislature for their salaries, as well as for the 
duration of their commissions. x 

Counsellors holding their commissions during pleasure, exercise legis- 
latire authority. 

Hamble and reasonable petitions from the representatiyes of the people 
have been fruitless. The agents of die people have been discountenanced, 
snd governors have been instructed to prevent the payment of their sa- 

Assemblies have been repeatedly and injuriously dissolved. 

Commerce has been burthened with many useless and oppressive re- 

By several acts of parliament, made in the fourth, fiilh, sixth, seventh, 
and rigfatfa years of your majesty's reign, duties are imposed on us, for 
tbf purpose of raising a revenue, and the powers of admiralty and vice- 
admiralty courts are extended beyond their antient limits, whereby our 
property is taken from us without our consent, the trial by jury in many 
drlX cases is abolished, enormous forfeitures are incurred for slight of- 
fences, vexatious informers are exempted from paying damages, to which 
tiiej are justly liable, and oppressive security is required from owners 
before they are allowed to defend their right 

Both houses of parliament have resolved, that colonists may be tried 
in England, for offences alleged to have been committed in America, by 
rirtue of a statute passed in the thirty-fifth year of Henry the Eighths 
ind in consequence thereof, attempts have been made to enforce that sta- 
tute. A statute was passe^ in the twelfth year of your majesty's reign, 
directing that persons charged with committing any offence therein de- 
scribed, in any place out of the realm, may be indicted and tried for the 
same in any ahire or county irithin the realm, whereby inhabitants of 
theae colonies may, in sundry cases by that statute made capital, be de- 
prived of a trial by their peers of the vicinage. 

In the last sessions of parliament, an act was passed for blocking up 
the harbor of Boston ; another, empowering the governor of the Massa- 
chusetts Bay to send persons indicted for murder in that province to ano- 
ther colony, or even to Great Britain, for trial; whereby such offenders 
nay escape legal punishment; a third, for altering the chartered consti- 
tution of government in that prorince ; and a fourth, for extending the 
fittits of Quebec, abolishing the English and restoring the French laws, 
whereby great numbers of British freemen are subjected to the latter, and 
eaublishing an absolute government, and the Roman Catholic religion, 
thnmgfaottt those vast regions, that border on the westerly and northerly 
VOL.1. Qq 

S98 >f £M0IK8 OM 

boundtfiea of the fite> FrotesUnt, Bnglish setttomeou^ ami a fifth, far 
the better providing iuitable quarters for officers and loldicta i« to 
majest/s senrioe in North America. 

To a sovereign, who " glories in the name of BritoB>'' the hare icd- 
tal of these acts must, we presume, justiQr the loyal subjeeta, who iy to 
the foot of his throne, and implore his clemency for protection acainit 

From this destructive system of colony administration, adopted sintt 
the conc4wMon of the last war, have flowed those distreasea* danyrs , 
fears, and jealousies, that overwhelm your majesty's dutiful colouala 
with afBiction; and we defy our moat subUe and inveterate enemlea, to 
trace the unhappy differences between Great Britain and these ooloOMi, 
from an earlier period, or from other causes than we have aadgned. Bad 
they proceeded on our part from a restless levity of temper^ unjust im- 
pulses of ambition, or artful suggestions of seditious persona, we dKMll 
merit the o]^robrious terms frequently bestowed upon us, by thoae we 
revere: but so far from promoting innovaUons, we have only oppoaed 
them; and can be charged with no offence, unless it be one, to recaste 
ii\}uries and be sensible of tliem. 

Had our Creator been pleased to give us existence in a land of ala«i> 
ry, the sense of our condition might have been mitigated by tgnersnoe 
and habit: but thanks be to his adorable goodness, we were bom the 
heirs of freedom, and ever enjoyed our right under the ausptoes of yonr 
royal ancestors, whose family was seated on the British throne, to rea*> 
cue and secure a pious and gallant nation from the popery and despo^hnn 
of a superstitious and inexorable tyrant. Tour majesty, we are confident^ 
justly rejoices that your title to the crown is thus founded on the title of 
your people to liberty; and tberefbre we doubt not b«t yoor roysl wia> 
(iom must approve the sensibility, that teaches your subjects anxioudy 
to guard the blessing they received from Divine Providence, and thereof 
to prove the performance of that compact, which Novated the lUustxiooa 
house of Brunswick to the imperial dignity it now possesses. 

The apprehension of being degraded into a ataie of servitdde, fre« 
the pre-eminent rank of English freemen, while oor minds retain the 
strongest love of liberty, and clearly foresee the miseries preparfng tot 
us and our posterity, excites emotions in our breasts, which, though ve 
cannot describe, we should not wish to coneeal. Feeling aa men, and 
thinking as subjects, in the manner we do, aUence would be &toydly. 
By giving this faithful information, we do all in our power, to pro mote 
the great objecta of your royal care, the tranquillity of your govenuBcot* 
and the welfare of your people. 

Duty to your majesty, and regard for the preservation of oarsekes and 
our posterity, the primary obligations of nature and aodety, coaoaiuid vb 
to entreat your royal attention ; and aa your majesty enjoya the aignd 
distinction of reigning over freemeni we apprehend the language of frees 

BBKJiMiir nuHkuir. £99 

be dLqdeKiioc- ITour royal indigiMtiany wt ho|)e> WiU ntibter 
fijl on those designing and dangerous nien» who daringly interposing ^ 

tfieniselves hetween your royal person and your faithful subjects, mad for 
several years past incessantly employed to dissolve the bonds of society, 
hf abosifl^ your niajes^s authority, misrepresenting your American sub- 
jects, and prosecuting the most desperate and instating projecta of op. 
prcssion, hftve at length compelled us» by the force of accumulated inju- 
ffies» too severe to be any longer tolerable, to disturb your mijesty'a 
repose by our complaints. 

These sentiments are extorted horn hearts, that much more willingly 
would bleed in your mi^esty's service. Yet so greatly have we been mis • 
lepresented, that -a necessity has been alleged of taking our property 
from ns without our consent, ''to delray the charge of the administn- 
tisn of jnstioe, the su{^rt of dvil government, and the defence, pro* 
teskioB, and aeeucity of the colonies." But we beg leave to assure your 
■ujesty, that such pnmsion has been and will be made for defraying the 
t«o Isst articles, as has been and shall be judged,, by the legislatures of 
the sevend colonies. Just and suitable to their respective circumstances: 
sod for the defence, protection, and security of the colonies, their mili* 
tils, if properiy regulated, as they earnestly desire may immediately be 
done, would be fully oiufficient, at least in times of peace; and in case of 
var, your faithfbl colonists will be ready and drilling, as they ever have 
been when constitutionally required, to demoi^strate their loyalty to y^ur » 

Bsjesty, by exerting their most strenooos efforts in granting supplied 
and raising forces. Yielding to no British subjects in afieotionate attach* 
ment to your majesty's petson, family^ and government, we too dearly 
pcixe the privilege of exprsssing that attachment by those proofii, that 
am honorable to the prince who receives them, and to the people who 
gUre them, ever to resign it to any body of men upon earth. 

Bad we been permitted to enj<^ in quiet the inheritance left us by 
ow ioM&thers, we should at this time have been peaoealby, cheerfully, 
and ^sefidly employed in recommending ourselves by every testimony of 
d«Totion to your majesty, and of veneration to the state, from which we 
derive our origin. But though now exposed to unexpected and unnatural 
scenes 4if distress, by a contention vfixh that nation, in whose parental 
guidsoee on all important affairs we have hitherto with filial reverence 
eonslantfy trutted, and therefore can derive no instruction in our preseift 
unhappy and perplexing circumstances from any former experience, yet 
we doubt not the purity of our intention and the integrity of our conduct 
Vill justify us at tiiat i^rand tribunal, before which all mankind must sub- 
•mit to judgment. 

We ask but for peace, Iji^erty, and safety. We wish not a diminution 
of the prerogative, nor do we solicit the grant of any new right in our 
^vor. Your royal authority over us, and our connection with Great Bri- 

300 MBHOIBS m 

tain, we ahall always carefully and zealously endeavor to •uppott and 

Pitted with sentiments of duty to your majesty, and of afioctioD to our 
parent state, deeply impressed by our education, and strongly oonfirmed 
by our reaspn, and anxious to evince the sincerity of these dispoaiUfln^ 
we present this petition only to obtain redress of grieraneea^ and relief 
from fears and jealousies occasioned by the syatem of statulies and v^u- 
lations adopted since the close of the late war, for raising a revenue in 
America— extending the powers .of courts of admiralty and vice-adni- 
ralty— trying persons in Great Britain for oflTences alleged to be committed | 
in America— affecting the province of Massachusetts Bay; and altering | 
the government and extending the limits of Quebec; by the abolitioB af I 
which system, the harmony between Great Britain and these colonies, so I 
necessary to the happiness of both, and so ardently deaired by the latter, 
and the uftial intercourse will be immediately restored. In tlie the mg* 
nanimity and justice t>f your majesty and parliamentt we confide fbr a 
redress of our other grievances, trusting, that when the causes of o«r 
^prehensions are removed, our future conduct will prove ua not m»w- 
thy of the regard we have been accustomed in our happier daya to enjoy. 
For, appealing to that Being who searches thoroughly the hearts of hia 
creatures, we solemnly profess, that our counoila have been inflnmnrid 
by no other motive than a dread of impending destruction. 

Permit us then, most gracious sovereign, in tlie nsme of all your fiuth- 
ful people in America, with the utmost humility to implore yoQ» for te 
honor of Almighty God, whose pure religion our enemiea are aadenaiB- 
ing; for your glory, which can be advanced only by rendering your aub- 
jects happy, and keeping them united; for the interests of your hmSkf, 
depending on an adherence to the prinelplea that enthraned it; fbr tibe 
-safety and welfare of your kingdoms and dominions, threatened with al- 
most unavoidable dangers, and distresses; that yonr majeaty, aa the lov- 
ing father of your whole people, connected by the same bands of Jaw^ 
loyalty, faith, and blood, though dwelling in various countries^ wiU not 
suffer the transcendant relation formed by these ties to be further vio- 
lated, in uncertain expectation of effects, that, if attuned, never cm 
compensate for the calamities through which they must be gained. 

We therefore most earnestly beseech your majesty, that your royil an- 
thority and interposition may be used for our relief; and that a gt ^ci a g 
answer may be given to this petition. 

That your msjesty may enjoy every felicity through a long and |^ori- 
ous reign, over loyal and happy subjects, and that your deacendants nay 
inherit your prosperity and dominions till time shall be no mote, is sad 
always will be our sincere and fertent pray^. 


Phikuklpfuat October 26, 1774. 

BBKjAMiir mvKj.iir. 


John SolUvwiy 
Katb. Folsom. 

ManaehtuetU Bay^ 
Thomas Cushmp, 
Samuel Adams, 
John Adams, 
Rob. Treat Pauie. • 

Mh9dB IHandt 
Step. Hopkins, 
Sam. Ward. 

Eleph. Dyer, 
Boger Sherman, 
Silas Deane. 

J>rew Tort, 
Phil. Livingston, 
John Alsop, 
Isaac Low, 
Jas. Duane, 
John Jay, 
Wm. Flojd, 
Henry Wisncr, 
S. Boerum. 

JWw Jertetft 
Wil. Livingston, 
J6hnl>e. Hart, 
Steph. Crane, 
Bicb. Snutb. 

' PenntyhtmUt^ 
E. Biddle, 
J. Galloway, 
John Dickinson, 
John Morton, 
Thomas Mifflin, 
George Ross, 
Cha. Hum^ghreys. 

JDeUrware Gwemment, 
Cssar Rodney, 
Tho. M<Kean, 
Geo. Read. 

Mat. Tilghman, 
Tho. Johnson, jun., 
-Wm. Paca,^ 
Samuel Chace. 

Richard Henry Lee, 
Patrick Henry, 
G. Washington, 
Edmund Pendleton, 
Rich. Bland, 
Benj. Harrison. 

WilL Hooper, 
Joseph Hewes, 
Bd. CasweU. 

South Carolina, 
Tho. Lynch, 
Christ. Gadsden, 
J. Rutledge, 
Edward Rutledge 

The first impression made by the proceedings of the Ame- 
rican congress on people in general, was greatly in our favor. 
Administration seemed to be staggered, were impatient to 
know whether the peHtUm mentioned in the proceedings was 
come to my hands, and took round-about methods of obtaining 
fliat information^ by getting a ministerial merchant, a known 
InGmatc of the solicitor-general, to write mc a letter^ import- 

soft MSMonui ot 

ing that he heard I had received sack a ftfitiM, tlotit I mm 
to be attended in presenting it by the merchants^ and beg- 
ging t6 know the time^ that he might attend <« on so impof' 
tant an occasioiiy and give his testimony to so good ft work.'' 
Before these proceedings arrived, it had been given out, that 
no petition fram the congress could be received, as they were 
an illegal body; but the secretary of state, after a day Vpem- 
sua! (during which a council was held), told us it was a de- 
cent and proper petition, and cheerfully undertook to present 
it to* his majesty, who, he afterwards assured us, waapltesel 
to receive it very graciously, and to promise ti^lay it, as sooi 
as they met, before his two houses of parliament; and we had 
reason to bi^ieve that at that time, the petition was intended 
to be made the foundation of some change of measures; bat 
that purpose, if such there was, did not long conttnoe. 

About tiiis time I received a letter from Mr. BarcIaj,thftB 
at Norwich, dated December 18, expressing his opinion, t&at 
it might be best to postpone taking any further stqis in the 
affairof procuring a meeting and petition of the merchants, 
(on which we had had several consultations) till aft^ the 
holidays, thereby to give the proceedings of congress more 
time to Work ilpon men's minds, adding, « I likewise consi- 
der that our superiors will have some little time for reflec- 
tion, and perhaps may contemplate on the propriety of the 
Hints in their possession. By a few lines I have receive! 
from lord Hyde, ho intimates his hearty wish that they may 
be productive of what may be practicable and advantageoos 
for the mother country and the colonies." — On the 22d Mr. 
Barclay was come to town, when I dined with him, and leant 
that lord Hyde thought the proposition^ too hard. 

On the £4th I received the following note from a consider- 
able merchant in the city, viz. 

MR. WILLIAM NE ATE presents his most respectM 
compliments to Dr. Franklin, and as a report prevailed yes- 
terday evening, that all the disputes between Great Britaia 
and the American colonies, were, through his application aal 
influence with lord North, amicably settled, conformaMe 1» 

the wish and desire' of the late congress. W. N. desires the 
favor of Dn Franklin to inrorm him by a Itne^ per the bear* 
er, whether there is any credit to be gi?en to the report! 

et. Mary HiUf Mth December, 1774. 

My answer was to this effect^ that I should be Tery happy 
to be able to iofom him that the report he had heard had 
some truth in it; but I conld only assure him that I knew no« 
thing of the matter. Such reports^ however, were confidently 
drciilated, and had some efiect in recoTering the stocks^ 
which had fallen three or four per cent 

On Christmas day, visiting Mrs. Howe, she told roe as 
loou as I weirt in, that her brother, lord Howe, wished to 
he acquainted with me ; that he was a very good man, and 
she was sure we should like each other. I said, I had always 
heard a good character of lord Howe, and should be proud 
ef the honor of being known to him. He is just by, said 
abe; wiB you give me leave to send for him? By all means^ 
■adaiB, if you think proper. She rang for a servant, wrote 
a note, and Lord Howe came in a few minutes. 

After some extremely polite compliments as to the general 
BMtives lor his desiring an acquaintance with me, he said he 
had a particular one at this time, which was the alarming* 
Bitnation of our affairs with America, which no one, he was^ 
persuaded, understood better than myself; that it was the 
epinion of some friends of his, that no man could do more 
towards reconciling our differences than I could, if I would 
undertake it; that he was sensible I had been very ill treated 
hy the ministry, but he hoped that would not be considered 
hy me in the present case; that he himself, though not in op- 
position, had much diisapproved of their conduct towards me; 
that some of them, he was sure, were ashamed of it, and sor« 
ry H had happened; which he supposed must be sufficient to 
^te resentment in a great and generous mind; that if he 
^re himself in administration, he should be ready to make 
me ample satisfaction, which he was persuaded would one 
dey or other be done; that he was unconnected with the mi« 
nistry, except by some personal friendships, wished well how- 



ever to government, was anxious for the general welfare of 
the whole empire^ and had a particular regard forNewEog* 
land*, which had slu>wn a very endearing respect to bis fami- 
ly ; that he was merely an independent member of pariuh 
mentf desirous of doing what good he could^ agreeablj (oUi 
duty in that station; that he therefore had wished for an (f- 
portunity of obtaining my sentiments on the means of Rcan- 
Giling our differences, which he saw must be attended irifli 
the most mischievous consequences, if not speedily accon- 
modated; that he hoped his zeal for the public welfare, wod^r 
with me, excuse the impertinence of a mere stranger, vko 
could have otherwise no reason to expect, or right to reqiiot 
me to open my mind to him upon these topics; bnt be didcoa- 
ceive^ that if I would indulge him with my ideas of the Dcatt 
proper to bring about a reconciliation, it might be oraoDetse; 
that perhaps I might not be willing myself to have asyiiM 
communication witti this ministry on this occasion; that 1 
might likewise not care to have it known that I bad an; Mi* 
reel communication with them, till I could be well assured rf 
their good dispositions; that being himself upon do iii terns 
with them, he thought it not impossible that he might, Iqr 
conveying my sentiments to them, and theirs to meibea 
means of bringing on a good understanding, witboat coa- 
mitting either them or me, if his negAtiation should notflnC' 
cced; and that I might rely on his keeping perfectly sect* 
every thing I should wish to remain so. 

MrSr Howe here offering to withdraw, wliether of heradfc 
or from any sign by him, I know not, I begged she ni^ 
stay, as I should have no secret in a business of this B»tBH 
that I could not freely confide to her prudence; which fW 
truth; for I had never conceived a higher opinion of the*' 
Ci*etion and excellent undei*standing of any woman onsP*" 
an acquaintance. I added, that though I had never befoi^^i* 
honor of being in his lordship's company, his manner ••» 
such as had already engaged my confidence, and would mai* 
me perfectly easy and free in communicating myself to ■*• 
I begged him in the first place, to give me credit for a smcer« 


desire of healing the breach between the two countries; that 
I woidd cheerfuUjr and heartily do every thing in my small 
power to accomplish it; but fhat I apprehended from the king's 
9eech» and from the measures talked of, as well as those 
already determined on^ no intention or disp<»Kition of the 
kind existed in the present ministry, and therefore no accom-^ 
modation could be expected till we saw a change. That as to 
what his lordship mentioned of thi* personal injuries done me, 
liiose done my country were so much greater, that 1 did not 
thmk the other, at this time, worth mentioning; that besides 
it was a fixed rule with me, not to mix my private affairs 
with those of the public; that I could join with my personal 
enemy in serving the public, or, when it was for its in- 
terest, with the public in serving; that enemy; these being 
Dy sentiments, his lordship miglit be assured that no private 
considerations of the kind should prevent my being as useful 
in the present case as my small ability would permit He ap- 
peared satisfied and pleasedwith these de< larations, and gave 
itm as his sincere opinion, that some of the ministry were 
extremely well disposed to any reasonable accommodations, 
presei-ving only the dignity of government; and he wished 
ne to draw up in writing, some propositions containing tho 
terms on which I conceived a good understanding might be 
obtained and established, and the mode of proceeding to ac- 
complish it; which propositions, as soon as prepared, we 
night meet to consider, either at his house, or at mine, or 
where I pleased; but as his being seerii at my house, or me at 
his, might he thought occasion some speculation, it was con- 
cluded to be best to meet at his sister's, who readily offered 
hee house for the purpose, and where there was a good pre- 
tence with her family and friends for my being often seen, as 
it was known that we played together at chess. I undertook, 
accordingly, to draw up something of the kind ; and so for 
that time we parted, agreeing tb meet at tlie same place again 
on the Wednesday following. 

I dined about this time by invitation with governor Pow- 
nall. There was no company but the family^ and after dinner 

Sd6 3il£M0lAS MP 

ve bad a Ule-i-Ute. He. had been in tbe opposition; but 
now about making his peace, in order to come into parlia- 
ment on ministerial interest^ wliich I did not then Icnow. He 
told me what I had before been told by several of lord North's 
IViendSy that the American measures were not tbe meiisiires 
of that minister, nor approved bj him; that, on thecontrary* 
he was well disposed to promote a reconciliation upon any 
terms honorable to government; that I had been looked upon 
as the great fomenter of tlie opposition in America, and as a 
great adversary to any accommodation; that he, governor 
Pownall, had given a different account of me, and had told ins 
lordship that I was certainly much misunderstood: from the 
governor's further discourse I collected, tliat he wished to be 
employed as an envoy or commissioner to America, to settle 
the differences, and to have me with him ; but as I apprehend* 
ed there was little likelihood, that either of us would be so 
employed by government^ I did not give much attention to 
that paH of his discourse. 

I should have mentioned in its place, (but one cannot re- 
collect every thing in order) that declining at first to draw 
up the propositions desired by lord Howe, I alleged its being 
unnecessary, since the congroas in their petition to the kin^ 
just then received and presented through lord Dartmooth^ 
bad stated their grievances, and pointed out very explicidy 
what would restore the ancient harmony; and I read a paot 
of the petition to show their good dispositions, which, being 
very pathetically exprc^ed, seemed to affect both the brother 
and sister. But still I was desired to give my ideas of tfaa 
steps to be taken, in case some of the propositions in the 
petition should not be thought admissible: and this, as I said 
before, I undertook to do. 

I had promised lord Chatham to communicate to blm tbe 
first important news I should receive from America. I tbcir- 
fore sent him the proceedings, of the congress as soon as I 
received them ; but a whole week passed after I received tbe 
petition, before I could, as I wished to do, wait upon him witb 
it^ in order to obtain his sentiments on the iX>hde; for ny 

time was taken up in meetings with the other agents to coni 
suit about presenfing the petition, in waiting three different 
days with them on lord Dartnioutfa, in consulting upon and 
writing letters to the speakers of assemblies^ and other busi- 
ness, which did not allow me a day to go to Hayes* At last^ 
on Monday the 26tii, I got out, and was there about one 
o^cIock; he received me with an affectionate kind of respect^ 
that from so great a man was extremely engaging; but tho 
opinion he expressed of the congress was still more so. They 
bad actedj he said> with so much temper, moderation, and 
wisdom, that he thought it the most honorable assembly of 
statesmen since those of the antient Greeks and Romans, in 
the most virtuous times: that tiiere was not in their whole 
proceedings, above one or two tilings he could have wished 
otherwise; perhaps but one, and that was their assertion, that 
the keeping up a standing army in the colonies in time, of 
peace, without consent of their legislatures, was against law; 
be doubted that was not well founded, and that the law al- 
luded to did not extend to the colonies. The rest he admired 
and honored: he thought the petition decent, manly, and ^ 
properly expressed: be inquired much and particularly con« 
ceniing the state of America, the probability of their perseve- 
rance, the dtiScuIties they must meet with in adhering for any 
longtime to tlieir resolutions; the resources they might have 
to supply the deficiency of commerce; to all which I gave him 
answers with which he seemed well satisfied. He expressed a 
great regard and warm affection for that country, with hearty 
wishes for their prosperity; and that government here might 
soon come to see its mistakes, and rectify tl)em ; and intimated 
tliat possibly he might, if his health permitted, prepare 8ome« 
thing for its consideration, when the parliament should meet 
after the holidays; on which ho should wish to have previous- 
ly my sentiments. I mentioned to him the very hazardous 
State I conceived we were in, by the continuance of the army 
in Boston; tliat whatever disposition there might be in tho 
inhabitants to give no just cause of offence to the troops, or 
in the general to preserve order among them, an unpremedi- 


tated unforeseen qnarrel might happen^ between perhaps s 
flninken porter and a soldier* that wight b.nng on a riot» to* 
"^nulty and bloodshed; and its consequences produce a breach 
impossible to be healed; that the army could not possibly 
swer any good purpose there, and be infinitely 
chicTous; that no accommodation could be properly proposed 
and entered into by the Americans, while the bayonet was at 
their breasts; that to have any agreement bindings all foroa 
should be withdrawn. His lordship seemed to think these ae»* 
timents had something in them that was reasonable. 

From Hayes I went to Halsted, Mr. Sargenf s place, to 
dine* intending thence a visit to lord Sta .hope at Chevenias j 
but hearing there that his lordship and the family were ia 
town, I staid at Halsted all night, and the next morning went 
to Chiselhurst to call upon lord Camden, it being in mj way 
to town. I met his lordship and family in two carriages just 
without his gate, going on a visit of congratnlatioa to lord 
Chatham and his lady, on the late marriage of their dai^« 
ter to lord Mahon, son of lord Stanhqie. They were to be 
back to dinner; so I agreed to go in, stay dinner, and speoA 
the evening there, and not return to town till next mcM^ing; 
We had that aftern n and evening a great deal of conTer* 
sation on American affairs, concerning which he was rety 
inquisitive, and I gave him the best information in my pow^* 
I was charmed with his generous and noble sentiments; and 
had tlie great p easure of hearing his full approbation of 
the proceedings of the congress, the petition, &c. flee of 
which, at his request, I afterwards sent him a copy. He seem- 
ed anxious that the Americans should continu<^ to act witfc 
the same temper, coolness, and wisdom, with which they bad 
hitherto proceeded in most of their r^ublic assemblies, in which 
case he did not doubt they would succeed in establishing their 
rij^hts, and obtain a solid and durable agreement with the 
mother country; of the necessity and great importance of 
which agreement^ he seemed to have the strongest impres- 

I returned to town the next morning, in time to meet at 
tin honr appointed by lord Howe. I apologised for my not 
beiiig ready with the paper I had promised, by my having 
been kept longer than I intended in the country. We had» 
however, a good deal of conversation on tiie subject, and his 
hndship told me he could now assure me of a eertainty, that 
there was a sincere disposition in lord North and lord Dart- 
mouth to accommodate the differences with America, and to 
listen favorably to any propositions that might have a proba* 
bie tendency to answer that salutary purpose. He then asked 
me what I 'thought of sendin.^ some person or persons over, 
commissioned to inquire into the grievances of America upon 
tiie spot, converse with the leading people, and endeavor with 
tbem to agree upon some means of composing our differences* 
I ssidjL that a person of rank and dignity, who had a charac- 
ter of candor, integrity, and wisdom, might possibly, if 
employed in that service, be of great use. He seemed to 
be of the same opinion, and that whoever was employed 
should go with a hearty desire of promoting a sincere rc- 
oenciliatioi], on the foundation of mutual interests and^nu- 
toal good-will; that he should endeavor, not only to remove 
their prejudices against goverament, but equally the preju- 
dices of government against them, and bring on a perfect 
good undprstanding, &c. Mrs. Howe said, I wish brother 
you were to be sent thither on such a service; I should like 
that much better than general Howe's going to command the 
army there. I tliink^ madam, said I, they ought to provide 
for general Howe some more honorable employnoent. Lord 
Howe here took out of his pocket a pamper, and offering it to 
me said, smBing, if it is not an unfair question, may I ask 
whether you know any thing of this paper? Upon looking at 
it, I saw it was a copy in David Barclay's hand, of the Eints 
before recited; and said, that I had seen it; adding a little 
after^ that since I perceived his lordship was acquainted with 
a transaction, my concern in which I liad understood was to 
have been kept a secret, I should make no diflSlculty in own- 
ing to him that I bad been con^lted on the subject, and had 

310 MfiMOUlS OIF 

drawn up tliat paper. ELb said, he was rather sorry to find 
that the sentiments expressed in it were mine, as it gave him 
less hopes of promoting^ by my assistance, the wished-for re* 
conciliation; since he had reason to thinlc there was ao like- 
lihood of the admission of these propositions. He hoped, 
however, that I would re-consider th« subject, and form some 
plan that would be acceptable here. He expatiated on the in- 
finite service it would be to the nation, and tlie great merit 
in being instrumental in so good a work; that he should not 
think of influencing me by any selfish motive, but certainly 
I might with reason expect any reward in the power of go- 
Ternment to bestow. This to me was what the French vqI- 
g^rly call spitting in the soup. However, I promised to draw 
some sketch of apian at his request, though I much doubtedy 
I said, wiiether it would be tliought preferable to that be had 
in his hand. But he was willing t(| hope that it would, and as 
he considered my situation, that I had friends here and con* 
stitucnts in America to keep well with, that I might possibly 
propose something improper to be seen in my band-writing; 
therefore, it would be better to send it to Mrs. Howe, w^ho would 
copy it, send the copy to him to be communicated to the mi- 
nistry, and return me the original. This I agreed to, though 
I did not apprehend the inconvenience he mentioned. In ge- 
neral, I liked much his manner, and found myself disposed 
to place great confidence in him on occasion, but in this par- 
ticular the secrecy he proposed seemed not of much impor- 

In a day or two I sent the following paper, inclosed in a 
cover directed to the honorable Mrs. Howe. 

It is supposed to be tlic wish on both sides, not merely to 
put a stop to the mischief at present threatning the general 
welfare, but to cement a cordial uniouf and remove, not only 
every real grievance, but every cause of jealousy and 
piciofl. ; 


With this view, the first thing necessary is, to know what 
is, by tlie different partif^ in the disputi*» thought essentially 
necessary for the obtaining such an union. 

The American congress, in their petition to the king, hare 
been explicit, declaring, tiiat by a repeal of the oppressive - 
acts therein complained of, * ike harmony between Oreai Bri" 
tain and the colonies, so necessary to tltc liappiness of both, and 
so ardently desired of themf willp with the usucd intercourse, 
be immediately restored.* 

If it has been thought reasonable here, to expect tliat, pre* 
vious to an alteration of measures, the colonies should make 
^bme declaration respecting their future conduct, they have 
also done that, by adding, * Tliat when the causes of their 
apprehensions are removedt their future conduct %viU prove 
them not unworthy of the regard they have been accustomed in 
their happier days to enjoy J 

For their sincerity in these declarations, they solemnly call 
to witness the Searcher of all hearts. 

If Britain can have any reliance on these declarations, 
(and perhaps none to be extorted by force can be more re- 
lied on than these which are thus fi'eeiy made,) she may with- 
out hazard to herself try the expedient proposed, since, if 
itfafls, she has it in her power at any time to resume her 
present measures. 

It is then proposed. 

That Britain should show some confidence in these decla« 
. rations, by repealing all the laws or parts of laws that are 
requested to be repealed in the petition of the congress to 
the king. 

And that at the same time orders should bo given to with- 
draw the fleet from Boston, and remove all the troops to 
Quebec or the Floridas, that the colonies maybe left at liber- 
ty in their future stipulations. 

That this may, for the honor of Britain, appear not the 
effect of any apprehension from the measures entered into 
and recommended to the people by the congress, but from 
good will, and a change of disposition towards the colonies^ 


with a sincere desire of reconc'Imtion i let some of flrir 
other grievances, which in their petition they have kit ts 
the magnanimity and justice of the king and padiaiiieot»b 
at the same time removed, such as those relating to thepqr- 
ment of governors' and judges' salaries, and the instractioa 
for dissolving assemblies, &c. with the declarations conoen* 
in.^ the statute of Henry Vill. 

And to give the colonies an immediate opporiiamtj of de- 
monstrating the reality of their professions, let their propcaei 
ensuing congress be authoriOMl by government, (as mi 
that held at Albany in 1754,) and a person of weight vd 
dignity of character he appointed to preside at it on b*^ftf 
the crown. 

And then let requisition be made to the congress, of nek 
points as government wishes to obtain, for its futors aea- 
rity, for aids, for the advantage of general commerce, forn- 
paration to the India company, &r. &c. 

A generous confidence thus placed in the colonies, wiD give 
ground to the friends of government there, in their endea- 
vors to procure from America every reasonable coDCesaiQDi 
or engagement, and every substantial aid that can fairij be 

On the Saturday evening I saw Mrs. Howe, who inbtwA 
me she had transcribed and sent tl^e paper to lord Howe is 
the country, and she returned me the original. On thefoilof* 
ing Tuesday, January 3d, I received a note from her, (indoi- 
ing a letter she bad received from lord Howe the last vifjfit) 
which follows. 

«< MRS. HOWE'S compliments to Dr. Franklin, sU 
incloses him a letter she received last nigtit, and returns bin 
many thanks for his very obliging present," wbicli has al« 
ready given her great entertainment If the doctor has tnj 
spare timt^ for chess, she ^iil be exceedingly glad to see 

■ Hi8 ptulosqphical writings. 


Uiii any morning tliis weekf and as often as will be agreea- 
Ue to bioiy and rejoices in having so good an excase for ask* 
iq; the favor of his company." 

[Letter indosed in the firegoingJ] 

«< ParUr*s Lodge, Jan. Stf, 1775. 
<< I HAVE received yourpiicli;et; and it is with much 
concern that I collect^ from sentiments of such authority as 
ttose of our worthy friend, that the desired accommodation 
ttreatem to be attended with much greater diflSiculty than I 
had flattered myself, in the progress of our intercourse, there 
woold be reason to apprehend. 

«I shall forward the propositions as intended. Not desir- 
ous of trespassing further on our friend's indulgence; but 
ntnming sentiments of regard, which his candid and oblig- 
iog attention to my troublesome inquiries^ will render ever 
permanent in the memory of your affectionate, &c. 

^ I ought to make excuses likewise to you. HOWE. 

M Am. JHrs. Onve^ Orafion street.^ 

His lordship had, in his last conrersation with me, acknow-^ 
hged a commnnication between Urn and the ministry, to 
whom he wished to make my sentiments known. In this let- 
ter from the country he owns the receipt of them, and men- 
tions his intentions of forwarding them, that is, as I under- 
stood it, to the ministers; but expresses his apprehensions 
that Bueh propositions were not likely to produce any good 
eftct Some time after, perhaps a week, I received a note 
from Mrs. Howe, desiring to see me. I waited upon her im- 
inodistely^ when she showed me a letter from her brother, of 
which having no copy, I can only give from the best of my 
McoBoction the purport of it, which I think was this; that 
he desired to know from their friend, meaning me, through 
her means, whether it might not be expected, that if that 
friend would engage for the payment of the tea as a prelimi- 

VOL, L as 

314 ttfiMoui;^ <fir 

nary^ relying on a promised redress of their grievances os 
future petitions from their assemblj^ they would approTe of 
his mai&ing such engagement; and whether the propodtna 
in the former paper, (the HiNTSf) relating to aidB, wassGB 
in contemplation of the aiittior* As Mrs. Howe propasei 
sending to her brother that evening, I wrote immediatdy the 
following answer, which she transcribed and forwarded. 

^< The proposition in the former paper relating to sudstii 
still in contemplation of the antbor, and, as he thiidu, is it* 
eluded in the last article of the present paper. 

«<The people of America, conceiving that pariianwotkB 
no right to tax them, and tliat therefore all that has been cS' 
torted from them by the operation of tho duty a(^s, «tt tte 
assistance of an arAied force, prece^ng the destruction ottke 
, tea, is so much injury, whicb ought in order of tine to be 
first repaired,^ before a demand on the (eaacmranlGaik 
justly made of them; are not, he tiiinks, likely to appnveof 
the measure proposed, and pay in tkeJirBt fiMt the vaMde- 
manded, especially as twenty times as much injury basriace 
been done them by blociLing up their port; and their caadB 
also seized before by the crown, has not been restored, iMir 
any satisfaction oflbred titem for the same/' 

At the meeting of parliament after the holidays, wbicb us 
on tlie of January, (1775), lord Howe returned to tim 
when we had another meeting, at which he lamented thitW 
proposittans were not such as probably could be accepted; it* 
tiaMited, that it was thouglit I had powers or in8tniGltei> 
from the congress to make concessions on^ 
wmdd be more satisfactory. I disclaimed the havipgaojii^ 
any kind but what related to the presenting of their petijS^ 
We talked over all the particulars in my papery which I^ 
ported with reasons; and finally said, that if what I hadpv* 
posed would not do, I should be glad to hear what wooM do; 
I wished to see some propositions from the ministers tbcfl* 
selves. His lordship was not, he said, as yet fully acqaMat- 
ed with their sentiments^ but should lei^v oiore in a few dajs. 


it was» however, some weeks before I heard any thing, farw 
ther froiD him. 

In the meanwhile, Mr. Barclay and I were fi^nently 
together on the affair of preparing the merchants' petitionf 
which took up so mnch of his time that be could not conve^ 
niently see lorti Hyde; so he had no infotmation to give me 
concerning the Hints, and I wondered I heard nothing of them 
Crom Dr. FothergilL. At length, however, but I cannot reed* 
kct about what time, the doctor called on me, and told me he 
had communicated them, and with them had verbally given 
my argaments in support of them, to lord Dartmouth, who» 
after oonsideration, had told him, some of them appeared rea« 
eonable, but others were inadmissible or impracticable: that 
having occasion to see frequently the speaiLcr,^ he hai^ also 
conmunicated them to him, as he found him very anxious for 
a reconciliation 4 that the speaker had said it would be very 
familiating to Britain to be obliged to submit to such terms: 
but the doctor told liim she had been unjust; and ouglit to 
tatctbecofisequences, and alter her conduct; that the pill 
wgbt be bitter, but it would be ^lutary, and must be swal^ 
lived: that these were the sentiments of impartial me% 
aftef thorough consideration and full infoWnation of all cir- 
cnmstancesf and that somcr or later these or similar mea* 
sores sMist be followed, or the empire would be divided and 
mined: the doctor on the whole hoped some good would be 
tflected by our endeavors. 

On the 19th of January, I received a card from lord Staa* 
hope, acquainting me, that lord Chatham having a motion to 
make on the morrow in the house of lords, concerning Ame- 
rica, greatly desired that I might be in the house, into which 
.lord 8. would endeavor to procure no admittance. At this 
time K was a rule of the bouse that no person could intro- 
duce more than one friend. The next morning, his lordship 
let me know by another card, that if I attended at two o^dock 
in the lobby, lord Chatham would be there akont thi^ time, 

-* sir HeMtr Norton. 

516 MEMOIRS 09 

and wottid himself introduce me. I attended, and met Um 
there accordingly. On my mentioning to him what tord 8taa* 
ho^e had written to me^ he said, << Certainly; and I shaD do 
' it with the moi*e pleasure, as I am sure your being present it 
this day's debate will be of more service to America thn 
mine;*' and so taking me by the arm, was leading me akng 
the passage to the door that enters near the throne, wfaeaoae 
of the doorkeepers followed and acquainted him, that By tile 
order^ none were to be carried in at that door, bat the eldeat 
sons or broUiers of peers; on which he limped back with as 
to the door near the bar, where were standing a nambor of 
gentlemen waiting for the peers who were to introduce then, 
and some peers waiting for friends they expected to introdoce; 
amof^ whom he delivered me to the doorkeepers, saying 
aloud, this is Dr. Franklin, whom I would have adniittri 
into the house; when they readily opened the door forne 
accordingly* As it had not been publicly knovm, that there 
was any communication between his lordship and roe, thii I 
found occasioned some speculation. His appearaace in Hub 
house, I observed, caused a' kind of bustle among tbe ulBcuSj 
who were hurried in sending messengers for members, I aq»> 
pose those in connection with the ministry! something of im- 
portance being expected when that great man appears; it be- 
ing but seldom that his infirmities permit his atteiidaooei I 
had great satisfaction in hearing his motion and the debate 
upon it, which I shall not attempt to give here an accoontef, 
as you may find a better in the papers of the time. It was 
his motion for withdrawing the troops from Boston, as the 
first step towards an accommodation. The day followiiig, I 
received a note from lord Stanhope, expressing, that ^ at the 
desire of lord Chatham, was sent me inclosed, the motion he 
made in the house of lords, that I might be possessed of it 
in tbe most authentic manner, by the communication of the 
individual paper which was read' to the house by the aiover 
himself I sent copies of tifis motion to America, and was 
the more pleased with it, as I conceived it had partfy takea 


Mb rise Crom a hint I had given bis lordship in a former con* 
▼eraatioik It follows in these words. 

Lord Chatham^s Motion, January £0» 1775* 
«< That an humble address be presented to bis majesty^ 
most humbly to advise and beseech bis majesly^ that, in or- 
der to npen the way towards an happy settlement of the dan- 
gerous troubles in Americdf by beginning to allay ferments and 
soften animosities there; and above all, for preventing in the 
mean time any sudden and fatal catastrophe at Boston, now 
suffering under daily irritation of an army before their eyes, 
posted in tlieir town; it may graciously please bis majesty, 
that immediate orders may be dispatched to general Gage, 
for removing his majesty's forces from the town of Boston, 
as soon as the rigor of the season and other circumstances, 
indispensable to the safety and accommodation of the said 
troops, may render the same practicable.'' 

I was quite charmed with lord Chatham's speech in sup- 
port of his motionJP He impressed me with the highest idea 
of bim as a great and most able statesman. Lord Camden, 
ftooAr wonderfully good speaker and close reasoner, joined 
him in the same argument, as did several other lords, who 
q^ke exeellently well; but all availed no more than the 
^Ustifaig of the winds. This motion was rejected. Sixteen 
Soolch peers, and twenty-fouih bishops, with all the lords in 
possession or expectation of places, when they vote together 
anahimously, as they generally do for ministerial measures, 
make a dead majority that renders all debating ridiculous in 
' itself, since it can answer no end. Full of the high esteem I 
Iiad imbibed for lord Chatham, I wrote back to lord Stan- 
liope the following note, viz. 

» It was reported at the time, that his lordship had concluded his 
vpeedi with the following remarkable words. " If the ministers thus per- 
Mvere in mUadvUing and misleadn^ the king, I will not say that thejcan 
»licaiitr the affections of his subjects from his crown» hot I wiU affirm, 
that they will make the crown not worth ku toearing. I will not say that 
the Idog 18 betrosed^ but 1 will pronounce that the kingdom U undone. 


Dr. Franklin presents his* best respects to lord Stanbop^ 
with many thanks to his lordship and lord Chatbam^ for the 
cominunication of so authentic a copy of the motion. Dr.F. 
is filled with admiration of that truly great man. He baa scm 
in the course of his life^ sometimes eloquence withoat wisdeSf 
and often wisdom without eloquence; in the present instnci^ 
h^ sees both united^ and both as he thinks^ in the Ugheif 
degree possible. 

Craven street^ Jan. 23, 1775. 

As in the course of the debate, some lords in the adminis- 
tration had observed, tliat it was common and easy to cen- 
sure their measures, but those who did so proposed nothing 
better; lord Chatham mentioned that he should not be one 
of those idle censurers, tliat h^ had thought long and closely 
upon the subject, and proposed soon to lay before their lord- 
ships the result of his meditation, in a plan .for healing our 
difTerences, and restoring peace to the empire, to which his 
present motion was preparatory: I much desired to know 
what his plan was, and intended waiting on him to see if be 
would cqmmunicate it to me; but he went the next morniOK 
to Hayes, and I was so much taken up with daily Mifpess 
and company, that I could not easily get out to him. A ftw 
days after, however^ lord Mahon called on me, and told'oie 
lord Chatham was very desirous of seeing roe; when I pro- 
misee] to be with him the Friday following, several engage* 
ments prevented my going sooner. On Friday the 27th, I 
took a post-chaise about 9 o'clock, and got to Hayes aboat 
1 1, but my attention being engaged in reading a new pamph* 
let, the postboy drove me a mfle or two beyond the gate. His 
lordship being out on an airing in his chariot, had met me 
before I reached Hayes, unobserved by me, turned and fot 
lowed me, and not finding me there, concluded, as he bad 
seen me reading, that I had passed by mistake, and sent a 
servant after me. He expressed great pleasure at my comuig^ 
and acquainted me, in a long conversation. With the outitnes 
of his plan, parts of which he read to me. He said be had 
communicated it only to lord Camden^ who^e advice be much 

tavjAftur inuinu:.iH. 319 

reUed 01I9 particidarly in the law part; and that he would, as 
800Q aa he could get it tranacribed, put it into mj hands for 
ray opinion and adyice, but should show it to no other per* 
son before he presented it to the house; and he requested me 
ta make no mention of it, otherwise parts might be misun- 
derstood and blown up beforehand, and others perhaps adopt- 
ed and produced by ministers as their own. I promised the 
dosest secrecy, and kept my word: not even mentioning to 
aoy one that I had seen him. I dined with him, his family 
only present, and returned to town in the evening. 

On the Sunday following, being the d9th, his Jordship came 
to town, and called upon me in Craven street' He brought 
with him his plan transcribed, in the form of an act of par* 
liament, which he put into my hands, requesting me to con- 
sider it carefully, and communicate to him such remarks upon 
it as should occur to me. His reason for desiring to give me 
that trouble, was, as he was pleased to say, that he knew no 
man so thoroughly acquainted with the subject or so capidile 
of giving advice upon it; that he thought the errors of mi- 
nisters in American affairs, had been often owing to their 
not obtaining the best information: that therefore though he 
had considered the business thoroughly in all its parts, he 
was not so confident of his own judgment, but that ho came 
to set it right by mine, as men set their watches by a r^;u-^ 
lator. He had not determined when he should produce it in 
the house of lords; but in the course of our conversation, con* 
sidering the precarious situation of his health, and that if pre-^ 
senting it was delayed, some intelligence might arrive which 
woold make it seem less seasonable, or in all parts not so pro- 
per; or the ministry might engage in diffierent measures, and 
then say if you had produced your plan sooner, we migfit 
have attended to it, he concluded to offer it the Wednesday 
following; and therefore wished to see me upon it the pre- 
ceding Tuesday, when lie would again call upon me, unless 
I could conveniently come to Hayes. I chose the latter, in 
respect to his lordsliip, and because there was leas likelihood 
of interruptions: and I promised to be with him eariy, that 


we might have more time. He staid with me near two hgmOf 
his, equipage waiting at the door; and being there while pei^* 
pie were c6ming from churcbt it was much taken notice of 
and tallced of^ as at that time was every little circamstaaoe 
that men thoi^ht might possibly any way affect Amerion 
affairs. Such a visit from so great a man^ on so important a 
basinessf flattered not a little my vanity; and the honor of it 
gave me the more pleasure/as it happened on the Tery day 
twelve months, that the ministry had taken so mnch pains to 
disgrace me before the privy counciLv 

I applied myself immediately to the reading and consider- 
ing the plan, of which» when it was afterwards pobliahedy I 
sent you a copy, and therefore need not insert it here. I pot 
down upon paper, as I went along, some short memorandiOM 
for my future discourse with him upon it, which follow^ Ihit 
you may, if you please, compare them with the plan; and if 
you do so, you will see their drift and puipose, which other- 
wise would make me much writing to explain. 

Tuesday^ Jan. 3l9i, 1775. 
Kotes for ^scoorse with lord Chatham on his plan. 

Voluntary grants and forced taxes, not to be expected of 
the same people at the same time. 

Permanent revenue will be objected to; would not a tem- 
porary agreement be best, suppose for 1 00 years 7 

Does file whole of the rights claimed in tlie petition of 
rights relate to England only? 

The American naturalization act gives all the rights of 
natural born subjects to foreigners residing there seven yearSi 
Can it be supposed that the natives there have them not? 

If the king should raise armies in America, would Britain 
like their being brought hither! as the king might bri^g 
them when he pleased. 

An act of parliament requires the colonies to furnish sun- 
dry articles of provision and accommodation to troops quar- 

« Sec vol. IV. p. 109, of this edition. 


tered among tbemy tbis may be made very burtbensome to 
colonies that are oat of favor. 

If a permanent revenue^ wby not the same privileges in 
trade with Scotland? 

Should not the lands conquered by Britain and the colonies 
m conjunction^ be given them (reserving a quit-rent) whence 
they might form funds to enable them to pay. 

Instructions about agents to be withdrawn. 

Grants to be for three years^ at the end of which a new 
congress— and so from three to three years. 

Congress to have the general defence of tlie frontiers^ 
molung and regulating new settlements. 

Protection mutual. / 

We go into all your wars. 

Oar settlements cost you nothing. 

Take the plan of union. 

<< Defence, extension, and prosperity of' — The late 
Canada act prevents tlieir extension, and may check tlieir 
• prosperity. 

Laws should be secure as well as charters. 

Perhaps if the legislative power of parliament is owned 
in the cdonies, they may make a law to forbid the meeting 
of any congress, &c. 

I was at Hayes early on Tuesday, agreeably to my pro- 
Biise, when we entered into consideration of the plan; but 
thoogh I staid near four hours, his lordship, in tlie manner 
of, I think, all eloquent persons, was so full and diffuse in 
80|iporting every particular I questioned, that there was not 
tune to go through half my memorandums; fie is not easily 
uterrupted, and I had such pleasure in hearing him, that I 
bond litde inclination to interrupt hi A; therefore, consider- 
ing that neither of us had much expectation that the plan 
wodd be adopted entirely as it stood; that in the course of 
its consideration, if it should be received, proper alterations 

VOL. L T t 

3Id MRMoiKs or 

migbt be introduced; that before it wpuld be settled, Amttica 
Bhould have opportunity to make her objections and propoai- 
tions of amendment; that to have it received at ail here, 
it must seem to comply a little with some of the pre- 
Tailing prejudices of the legislature; that if it VfBS not so 
perfect as might be wished, it would at least serve as a lam 
for treaty, and in the mean time prevent mischiefs, and tibit 
as his lordsliip had determined to offer it the next day, tlierv 
was not time to make changes and another fair copy. I tbere^ 
fore ceased my querying; and though afterwards many peo- 
ple were pleased to do me the honor of supposing I bad a 
considerable share in composing it, I assure you, that the ad- 
dition of a single word only was made at niy instance^ viz. 
^* comtiUUions*^ after <^ charters ;'' for my filling up at his 
request a blank with the titles of acts proper to be repealed, 
which I took from the proceedings of the congress, was ao 
more than might have beeh done by any copying clerk. 

On Wednesday, lord Stanhope, a,t lord Chatham's request, 
called upon me, and carried me down to the honae of lords 
which was soon very fiill. Lord Chatham, in a moat excd- 
lent speech, introduced, explained, and supported his plaa. 
When he sat down, lord Dartmouth rose, and very properly 
said, it contained matter of such weight and magnitude as to 
require much consideration, and he therefore hoped the noble 
earl did not expect their lordships to decide upon it by an 
immediate votei but would be willing it should lie upon the 
table for consideration. Lord Chatham answered readily, that 
he expected nothing more. But lord Sandwich rose, and in a 
petulant vehement speech, opposed its being received at aD, 
and gave his opinron, that it ought to be immediately rejecUd^ 
with the contempt it deserved ; that he could never believe it 
to be the production of any British peer; that it appeared to 
him rather the work o^ some Jlmerican; and, turning bis 
face towards me, wlio was leaning on the bar, said, he fan- 
cied he had in iiis eye the person wlio drew it up, one of the 
bitterest and most mischievous enemies this country bad ever 
known. This drew the eyes of many lords upon me: but as 

I bad no inducement to take it to myseir, I kept mj counter 
nance as imnioTeable as if roy features iiad been made of 
wood. Then several other lords of the administration gave 
their sentiments also for rejecting it^ of wiiicb opinion also 
was strongly tlie Tc;t5e lord Hillsborough; but the dukes of 
Richmond and Manchester, k)rd Shelburne> lord Camden^ 
lord Temple, lord Lyttleton and others, ^tre for receiving 
it, some through approbation, and others for the character 
and dignity of the house. One lord mentioning with ap^* 
plausc, tlie candid proposal of one of the ministers, lord 
Dartmouth, his lordship rose again, and said, that having 
since heard the opinions of so many lords against receiving 
it to lie upon the table for consideration, he had altered his 
inind, could not accept the praise offered him, for a candor of 
which he was now ashamed, and should tlierefore give his 
voice for rejecting the plan immediately. I am the more par- 
ticular in this, as it is a trait of that nobleman's character^ 
who, from liis oKBce, is supposed to have so great a share in 
American affairs, but who has in reality no will or judgment 
of bis own, being, with dispositions for the best measures^ 
easily prevailed with to join in the worst Lord Chatham, in 
bis reply to lord Sandwich, took notice of liis illiberal insi* 
naation, that the plan was not tlie person's who proposed it : 
declared that it was entirely his own, a declaration he 
thouglit himself the more obliged to make, as many of their 
lordshi])s appeared to have so mean an opinion of it; for if 
it was so weak or so bad a thing, it was proper in him to 
take care that no other pei-son should unjustly share in the 
censure it deserved. That it had been bi^retofore reckoned 
his vice not to be apt to take advice; but he made no scru- 
ple to declare, that if he were the first minister of this coun- 
try, and had the care of settling this momentous business, he 
should not be ashamed of publicly calling to his assistance, a 
person so perfectly acquainted with the whole of American 
affairs as the gentleman alluded to and so injuriously reflect- 
ed on; one, he was pleased to say, whom all Europe held itt 
high estimation, (br bis knowlege and wisdom> and ranked 

$24 MEMOIRS Olf 

With our Boyles and Newtons; who was an honor^ not to the 
Englisli nation onlj, but to human nature! I found it hardtr 
to stand this extravagant Gompliment» than the precediif 
equally extravagant abuse; but kept as well as I coidd aa 
unconcerned countenance, as not conceiving it to rdateto 

To hear so many of these hereditary legislators dedaimiag 
so vehemently against^ not the adopting mereljf but evea tte 
cansideratum ofa proposal so important in its nature^ offieitd 
by a person of so weighty a character, one of the first states- 
men of the age, who had taken up this country when in Oe 
lowest despondency, and conducted it to victory and glofj, 
through a war with two of the mightiest kingdoms in £o- 
i*opej to hear tlicm censuring his plan, not only for tbcir 
own misunderstandings of what was in it, but for their ima- 
ginations of what was not in it, which they would not £^te 
themselves an opportuiHty of rectifying by a second reading; 
to perceive the total ignorance of the subject in some, tlie 
prejudice and passion of others, and the wilful perrersion of 
plain truth in several of the ministers; and upon the wliole, 
to see it so ighominiously rejected by so great a majority, 
and so hastily too, in breach of all decency, and pmdent re- 
gard to the character and dignity of their body, as a third 
part of the national legislature, gave me an exceeding mean 
opinion of their abilities, and made their claim of sovereignty 
over three millions of virtuous sensible people in America, 
seem the greatest of absurdites, since they appeared to have 
8(iarce discretion enough to govern a herd of swine. JEfenefi- 
tary legislators! thought L There would be more proprieiy, 
becauvse less hazard of mischief, in having (as in some uni- 
versity of Germany) hereditary professors of mathemaSaf 
But this was a hasty reflection; for the elected house of com* 
mons is no better, nor ever will be while the electors receive 
money for their votes, and pay money wherewith minislers 
may bribe their representatives when chosen. 

After this proceeding I expected to hear no more of uaj 
negotiation for settling our difference amiciAly ; yet In a di^ 

or twOf I had a note from Mr. Barclay, requesting a meeting 
at Dr. Fotbergiirs, the 4th of February in the evening. I 
attended accordingly, and was surprised by being told that 
a very good disposition appeared in administration; that the 
.Hints had been considered, and several of them thought 
reasonable, and that others might be admitted with small 
amendments* The good doctor, with his usual philanthropy, 
es^tiated on the miseries of war; that even a bad peace was 
preferable to the most successful war; that America was 
growing in strength, and wliatever she might be obliged to 
submit to at present, she would in a few years be in a condi- 
tion to make her own terms. Mr. Barclay hinted how much 
it was in my power to promote an agreement; how much it 
would be to my honor to effect it, and that I might expect, 
not only restoration of my old place, but almost any other I 
codd wish for, &c.-*I need not tell you, who know me so 
well, how improper and disgusting this language was to me. 
The doctor's was more suitable. Him I answered, that we 
did not wish for war, and desired nothing but what was rea- 
sonable and necessary for our security and well-being. To 
Mr. Barclay I replied, that the ministry, I was sure, would 
rather give me a place in a cart to Tyburn, than any other 
place whatever. — And to both, that I sincerely wished to bo 
aerviceable; that I needed no other inducement than to bo 
shown how I might be so; but saw, they imagined more to 
be in my power than really was; I was then told again that 
conferences had been held upon the Hutts; and the paper 
being produ6ed was read; that I might hear the observations 
that had been made upon them separately, which were as 

1, The first article was approved. 

2, The second agreed to, so far as related to the repeal of 
the tea act But repayment of the duties that had been col- 
lected, was refused. 

3, The third not approved, as it implied a deficiency of 
power in the parliament that mad^ those acts. 

4, The fourth approved. 

326 MfiMOtRS OV 

5f The fifth agreed to, but with a reserve, that no diangif 
prejudicial to Britain was to be expected. 

6, The sixth agreed to, so Tar as related to the appropria^ 
tion of tiie duties : but the appointment of the officers arf 
th(&ir salaries, to remain as at present. 

7 9 The seventh relating to aids in time of peace, agreed to. 

8, The 8th, relating to the troops, was inadmissible. 

9, The ninth could be agreed to, with this difference, tU 
no proportion should be observed with regard td pratfing 
taxes, but each colony should give at pleasure. 

10, The tenth agreed to, as to the restitution of Castk 
William; but the restriction on the crown in building for* 
tresses refused. 

1 1, The eleventh refused absolutely, except as to the Bos* 
ton port bill, which would be repealed; and the Qaebecict 
might be so far amended, as to reduce that province to its 
antient limits. The other Massachusetts acts, being ml 
amendments of their constitution, must for tl\at reason be 
continued, as well as to be a standing example of the power 
of parliament. 

1£, The twelfth agreed to, that the judges should be ap* 
pointed during good behavior, on the assemblies providing 
permanent salaries, such as tlie crown should approve ot 

IS, The thirteenth agreed to, provided the assemblies make 
provision as in the preceding article. 

15, The fifteenth agreed to. 

16, The sixteenth agreed to, supposing the duties paid to 
the colony treasuries. 

17, The seventeenth inadmissible* 

Vfo had not at this time a grestt deal of conversation upon 
these points, for I shortened it by observing, that while i^ 
parliament 'claimed and exercised a power of altering oar 
constitutions at pleasure, there could be no agreement; for ^ 
were rendered unsafe in every privilege we had a rigkt to, 
and were secure in nothing. And it being hinted how aeces- 


#ttry an agreement was for America^ aince it was so easy for 
Britain to burn ail our sea-port 'towns^ I grew warm^ said 
that the chiaf part of my little property consisted of houses 
in those towns | that they might make bonfires of them when- 
erer they pleased^ that tlie fear of losing them would never alter 
IDJ resolution to resist to the last that claim of parliament; 
and that it behoved this country to take care what mischief 
it HA u8» for that sooner or later it would certainly be obliged 
to make good all damages with interest! The doctor smiled, 
as I thought, with some approbation of my discourse, pas- 
sionate as it wan, and said he would certainly repeat it to- 
morrow to lord Dartmouth* 

In the discourse concerning the Hints, Mr. Barclay hap- 
pened to mention, that going to lord Hyde's, he found lord 
Howe with him; and that lord Hyde had said to him, «yott 
may speak any thing before lord Howe, tliat you have to say 
to me, for he is a friend in whom I confide;'' upon which be - 
accordingly Irad spoken with the same freedom as usual. By 
this I coU' cted how lord Howe caue by the paper of Hints, 
which he had shown me : — and it being mentioned as a mea<< 
sure thought of, to send over a commissioner with powers to 
inquire into grievances and give redress on certain condi« 
tions, but that it was difficult to find a pt*oper person; I said, 
why not lord Hyde? lie is a man of prudence and temper, a 
person of dignity, and I should think very suitable for such 
an employment: or, if he would not go, there is the other 
person you just mentioned, lord Howe, who would, in my 
opinion, do excellently well: this passed as mere conversa- 
tion, and we parted. 

Lord Chatham's rejected plan being printed, for the pub- 
lic judgment, I received six copies from lord Mahon, his son- 
in-law, which I sent to different persons in America. 

A week and more passed, in which I heard nothing further 
of the negotiation, and my time was much taken op among 
the members of parliament; when Mr. Barclay sent me a 
note to say, that he was Indisposed, but desirous of seeing me, 
and should be glad if I would call on him» I waited upon 


bim the next morning, when be told me, that he had seen lori 
Hyde, and had some further discourse with him on the ibu 
TicxBs; that he thought himself now fuUy possessed of whit 
would do in this business; that he therefore wished another 
meeting with me and doctor Fothergill, when he woold c»> 
deavor to bring prepared a draft conformable chieflj to whif 
had been proposed and conceded on both sides^ with soM 
propositions of his own. I readily agreed to the meetiq^ 
which was to be on Thursday evening, Feb. 16th. 
^ We met accordingly, when Mr. Barclay produced the ibl* 
lowing paper, viz. 

A FXiAN, which it is believed would produce a permqneni wnn 
between Great Britain and her colonies. 

1, The tea destroyed to be paid for; and, in ordar that no 
time may be lost, to begin the desirable work of concili^oo, 
it is proposed that the agent or agents, in a petition to the 
king, should engage that the tea destroyed shall be paid (or; 
and in consequence of that engagement, a commisrioner to 
have authority, by a clause in an act of parliament, to open 
the port, (by a suspension of the Boston port act) when that 
engagement shall be complied with.' 

2d, The tea-duty act to be repealed, as well for the advan* 
tage of Great Britain as the colonies. 

Sd, Castle William to be restored to the province of the 
Massachusetts Bay, as formerly, before it was delivered op 
by governor Hutchinson. 

4th^ As it is believed that the commencemtnt of conciliatoiy 
measures will in a considerable degree quiet the minds of the 
subjects in America, it is proposed th^t the inhabitants of the 
province of the Massachusetts Bay should petition the king, 
and state their objections to the said act/ And it is to be tm- 
derstoodf that the said act shall be repealed. Interim, the 
commissioner io have power to suspend the act, in order to 

enable the inhabitants to petition. 


^ ! 

' Supposed to mean the Boston port act B. F. | 

^ 5^9 The aerenl provinoes ^rtio may tbiok themsdvcB ag* 
f^rieved by the Quebec bill, to petitian in their legislative ca« 
padties j aii4 it is to be wndentood that se far of the act as 
esiteiids the limits of Quebec beyond its antient bounds^ is to 
boFiapealed. ^ 

6tk The act of Henry Yllltb to be formally disdaioMfd 
I^ IpariiamenL 

. 7thf In time of p^ce the Aoiericaiis to raise within their 
re^ective proyinces, by acts of tlieir own Ic^islatares, a cer- 
tain sum or sums, such as may he thought neceasary for a ' 
peace establishment, to pay governors, judges, Sue. . 

Vide — ^Laws of Jamaica. 

Stb, In time of war, on requisition made by the king, with 
consent of parliament, every colony shall raise such sums of 
money, as their legislatures may think suitable to their abili* 
tiOB and the public exigency, to be laid out in raising and 
payfaig men for land or sea service, furnishing proviaionSf 
traaq^rts, or such other purposes as the king shall require 
and direct. 

' 9thf The acts of navigation to be re-examined, in order to 
see whether some alterations might not be made therein, as 
Aoch for the advantage of Great Britain, as the ease of flie 

iOth, A naval officer to be appointed by the crown to reside 
ia each c<dony, to see those acts observed. 

N. B. In some colonies they are not appointed by the 

lltb. All duties arising on the acts for regulating trade 
witb the colonies, to be for the public use of the respective 
colonies, and paid into their treasuries, and an officer of the 
cfown to see it done. 

12tb, The admiralty courts to be reduced to the same pow« 
ors as they have in England. 

ISth, All judges in the king's colony governments, to be 
appmnted during good behavior, and to be paid by the pro- 
Tince, agreeable to article rth. 

VOL- 1. Uu 


N. B. If the king chooses to add to tbeir salaries, the 
to be sent from England. 
I4tb5 The governors to be supported in the same 

Our conversation turned chiefly upon the ^r^l article^ It 
was said that the ministry only wanted some opening to be 
given them, some fi;round on which to found the comiiieiio»* 
raent of conciliating measures, tiiat a petition, containing 
such an engagement as mentioned in this article, wooltf aa* 
swer that purpose: that preparations were making to sod 
over more troops and ships: that such a petition might pre- 
vent their going, especially if a commissioner were pro* 
posed : I was therefore urged to engage the colony i^nts to 
join with me in such a petition. My answer was, thai no 
agent had any thing to do with the tea business, bat those 
for Massachusetts Bay, who were, Mr* BoUan for the comh- 
cil, myself for the assembly, and Mr. Lee, s^ipointed to suc- 
ceed me when I siiould leave England; that the latter, there- 
fore, could hardly yet be considered as an agent; and that 
the former was a cautious exact man, ^nd not easUy persua- 
ded to take steps of such importance without instructions or 
authority; that therefore if such a step were to be taken, it. 
would lie chiefly on me to take it; that indeed, if there were, 
as they supposed, a clear probability of good to be done fcy 
it, I sliould make no scruple of hazarding myself in it; bat 
I thought the empowering a commissioner to .suspend the 
Boston poK act, was a method too dilatory, and a mere i 
pension would not he satisfactory; that if such an ( 
ment were entered into, all the Massachusetts acts shonld be 
immediately repealed. 

They laid hold of the readiness I had expressed to petition 
on a. probability of doing good, applauded it, and urged me 
to draw up a petition immediately. I said it was a matter of 
importance, and with their leave I would take home the pa- 
per, consider the propositions as they now^ood, and pre 
them my opinion to-morrow evening. This was agreed to» 
and for that time we parted. 


Weighing naw the present dangerous situation of affairs 
in America^ and the daily hazard of widening the breach 
there irreparable^ I. embraced the idea proposed in the paper, 
of sending over a commissionery as it might be a means of 
suspending military operations, and bring on a treaty, where- 
by misctiief would be prevented, and an agreement by degrees 
be formed and established ; I also concluded to do what had 
been desired of me as to the engagement, and. essayed a draft 
of a memorial to lord Dartmouth, for that purpose, simply f 
to be signed only by myself. As to the semling of a commis- 
aionery a measure which I was desired likewise to propose, 
and express my sentiments of its utility, I apprehended my 
colleagues in the agency might be justly displeased if I took 
a step of such importance without consulting them, and there- 
fore I sketched a joint petition to that purpose for them to 
sign with me if they pleased; but apprehending that would 
meet with difficulty, I drew up a letter to lord Dartmouth, 
containing the same proposition, with the i*easons for it, to 
be sent from me only, I made also upon paper some remarks 
on the propositions; with some hints on a separate paper of 
further remarks to be made in conversation, when we should 
meet in the evening of the trth. Copies of these papers (ex- 
cept the firs^, which I do not find with me on shipboard,) are 
here placed as follows, viz. 

To thfi MUng^s most excellent Mijesty. 
The Petition and Memorial of W. BoUan, B. Franklin^ 
' and Arthur Lee^ 

Most humbly showeth, 

THAT your petitioners, being agents for several colo- 
nies, and deeply affected with the apprehension of impending 
calamities that now threaten your majesty's subjects in Ame- 
rica, beg leave to approach your throne, and to suggest with 
all humility,' their opinion, formed on much attentive consi- 
deration, that if it should please your majesty to permit and 
authorise a meeting of delegates from the different provinces, 
and appoint some person or persons of dignity and wisdom 

from this coantrj^ to preside in that meeting, or U^ confer 
ifith the said delegates, acquaint tkemsdTes Cully with Hm 
true grievances of the colonies, and settle the means of com-^ 
posing all dissentions, such means to be afterwards ratified 
hj your majesty, if found just and suitable ; your pctitio^en^ 
are persuaded, Jrom their thorough knowlege of that corn- 
try imd pec^e, that such a measure might be attended with 
the most salutary effects, prevent much mischief, and reston 
t|ie harmony which so long subsisted, and is so necessary tn 
the pro^rity and happiness of all your majesty's subjects 
in every part of your extensive dominions; which that hea* 
van may preserve entire to your majesty and your desoen* 
dants, is the sincere prayer of your majesty^s most dufifol 
snigects and servants. 

To the Bighi Hon. Lord DaHmouih^ ^c. 
Mt Lord, 
BEMNG deeply apprehensive of the impending calamities 
that threaten the nation and its colonics, through the present 
nnhappy dissentions, I have attentively considered by what 
possible means those calamities may be prevented. The great 
importance of a business which concerns us all, will, I hope, 
in some degree excuse me to your lordship, if I presume un* 
asked to offer my humble opinion, that should his majesty 
think fit to autliorise delegates from the several provinces to 
meet, at such convenient time and place, as in bis wisdom 
shall seem meet, then and there to confer with a commis- 
sioner or commissioners to be appointed ami empowered by 
his majesty, on the means of establiaViing a firm and lasting 
union between Britain and the American provinces, such a 
measure might be effectual for that purpose. I cannot, there- 
fore, but wish it may be adopted, as no one can more ardently 
and sincerely desire the general prosperity of th^ British do- 
minions, thai^ my lord, your lordship's most obedient, &c. \ 


Remarks an the Propositions. 

Art. if In consequence of that engagement all the Boston 
and Massachusetts acts to be suspended, and in compliance 
with that engagement to be totally repealed. 

By this amendment, article 4th wiU become unnecessary. 

Art 4 and 5, The numerous petitions heretofore sent home 
by the colony assemblies, and either refuse to be received, or 
received and neglected, or answered hai^slily, and the peti- 
tioners rebuked for making them,, have, I conceive, totally 
discouraged that method of application, and if even their 
friends were now to propose to them the recurring again to 
petitioning, such friends would be thought to trifle with them.. 
Besifles, all they desire is now before government in the peti- 
tion of the congress, and the whole or parts may be granted 
or refused at pleasure. The sense of the colonies cannot be 
better obtained by petition from different colonies, than it U 
by that general petition. 

Art. 7, Read, such as tliey may think necessary. • 

Art. 11, As it stands, of little importance. The first pro* 
position was, that they should be repealed as unjust. But 
they may remain, for they, will probably not be executed. 

£vcn with the amendment proposed above to article 1, 1 
cannot think it stands as it should do. If the object be merely 
the preventing present bloodshed, and the other mischiefs to 
fall on that country in war, it may possibly^Rns^eer that end; 
but if a thorough heai*ty reconciliation is wished for, all 
cause of heart-burning should be removed, and strict justice 
be done on both sides. Thus the tea should not only be paid 
for on the side of Boston, but the damage done to Boston by 
the port act should be repaired, because it was done contrary 
to the custom of all nations, savage as well as civilized, of 
first demanding satisfaction. 

Art. 14, The judges sitould receive nothing from the king. 

As to the other two acts. The Massachusetts must suffer 
fXL the hazards and mischiefs of war, rather than admit the 
alteration of their charters and laws by parliament. «< They 

334 MEMOIBS 07 

who can give op essential liberty to obtain a little temporary 
sarety^ deserve ueitiier liberty nor safety.'' 



I doubt the regulating duties will not be accepted, witfaoot 
enacting them, and having tlie power of appointing the col- 
lectors in the colonies. 

If we mean a hearty reconciliation, we must deal candidly, 
and use no tricks. 

The assemblies are many of them in a state of dissolutioSi 
It will require time to make new elections; then to meet sad 
chuse delegates, supposing all could meet. But the assembly 
of the Massachusetts Bay cannot act under the new consti- 
tution, nor meet the new council for that purpose, without 
acknowleging the power of parliament to alter their charter, 
which, they never will do. The language 6f the proposal is^ 
Try on your fetters firsU and then if you danH like (Aem, ^efi- 
iion and we wUl. consider. 

Establishing salaries for judges may be a general lav. 
For governoi*s not so, the constitution of colonics differisg: 
It is possible troops may be sent to parHctUar provinces, tft 
burthen them when they ai-e out of favor. 

Canada. — We cannot endure despotism over any of ear 
fellow-subjects. We must all be free, or none. 

That afternoon I received the following note from.Mre. 
Howe, inclosing another from lord Howe, viz. 

MRS. HOWE'S compliments to Dr. Franklin; she h« 
just received the inclosed note from lord Howe, and hopes i 
will be convenient to him to come to her either to-morrow or 
Sundayy at any honr most convenient to him, which she begs 
he will be so good to name. 

OrafUm strut, Friday, Feb. 17, 1775. 


[Inclosed in the foregoing] 
To the Honorable Mrs. Howe. 
I WISH yoa to procure me an opportunity to see Dr. 
Franklin at your liouse to*morrow, or ou Sunday mornings 
far an essential purpose. 
Grafion street, Friday f 4 o^dock. 

Received Fridaj» 5 o'clock, Feb. 17, 1775. 

I had not beard from his lordship for some time^ and rea- 
i|fly answered^ that I would do myself the honor of waiting 
llpon him at her house to*morrow at 1 1 o'clock. 
. Mr. Barclay^ Dr. FotbergilU and myself, met according 
to appointment at the doctor's house* I delivered to them the 
RiMABKs I had made on the paper, and we talked them 
arer. I reail, also, the sketches I had made of the petitions 
and memorials; but they being of opinion, that the repeal of 
qpoe of the Massachusetts acts could be obtained by my en- 
(aging to pay for the tea, the Boston port act excepted, and 
I usisting on a repeal of aU, otherwise declining to make the 
albr, that measure was deferred for the present, and I pock- 
'eled my draughts. They concluded, however, to report my 
sentiments, and see if any further concession could be obtain- 
ed. They observed, that I had signed my remarks, on which 
I said, that understanding by other means as well as from 
than, that the ministers liad been acquainted with my being 
consulted in this business, I saw no occasion for further mys- 
tery^ and since in conveying and i*eceiving through second 
hands their sentiments and mine, occasioned delay, and might 
be attended with misapprehension, something being lost or 
changed by mistake in the conveyance, I did not see why we 
ahottid not meet, and discuss the points together at once; that 
if this was thought proper, I sliould be willing and ready to 
attend them to the ministerial persons tliey conferred with. 
They seemed to approve the proposal^ and said they would 
neotion it. 

.536^ X£1R>IBS 09 

The next mornbig I met lord Howe» according to a]i|;oiiit^ 
oient. He seemed very cheerful, havings as I imagine, heard 
from lord Hyde what that lord might have heard from Mr* 
Barclay the evening of the 16th, viz. that I had consented 
to petition and engage payment for the tea; whence it was 
hoped, the ministerial terms of accommodation might takn 
place. He let me know that he was Uiought of ta be seat 
commissioner for settling the differences in Amerioi; add- 
ing, with an excess of politeness, that sensible of hia own 
unacquaintedness with the business, and of my knowlege 
and abilities, he could not think of undert^dLin^ it withmt 
me; but with me, he should do it most readily; for he shodi 
found his expectation of success on my assistance; he therS' 
fore had desired this meeting to know my mind opoa a pro- 
position of my going with him in some shape or other, as a 
friend, an assistant, a secretary: that he was very sensihlc^ 
if he should be so happy as to effect any thing valoaUe, it 
must be wholly owing to tlie advice and assistance I shorii 
afford him : that he should therefore make no scruple of giv- 
ing me upon all occasions the full honor of it; that he had de- 
clared to the ministers his opinion of my good disiKisitioQff 
to/rards peace, and what he now wished was to be aathorisel 
by me to say, that I consented to accompany him, and wouM 
co-operate with him in the great work of reconciliatiott; that 
the influence I had over the minds of people in Americn^ ' 
known to be very extensive; and that I could, if any 
could, prevail with them to comply with reasonable propori- 
tions. I replied, that I was obliged to his lordship for the flh 
vorable opinion he had of mc, and for the honor he did meia 
proposing to make use of my assistance; that I wished ta 
know what propositions were intended for America; thalif 
they were reasonable ones in themselves, possibly I might ho 
able to make them appear such to my countrymen; hot if 
they were otherwise, I doubted whether that could be done 
by any man, and certainly I should not undertake iL Ws 
lordship then aaid, tiiat he should not expect my asfittance 
without a proper consideraturiL That the business was of 


great importance, and if be undertook it, he should insist on 
beiqg enabled to make gtnerouL and ample appointmeats for 
tlnse he took with him, particularly for me; as well as a firm 
pranise of gvhuqutiU rewards; and, said be, that the minis* 
tiy Biay ha^e an opportunity of showing their good disposi- 
tion (awards yourself, will you give me leaver Mr. Franklin* 
te procure for you previously some mark of it; suppose the 
pigment here of the arrears of your salary as agent for 
New England, which I understand they have stopped for 
mae time past? My lord, said I, I shall deem it a great ho- 
apr to he in any shape joined with your lordship in so good 
ft work; but if you hope service from any influence I may 
k siigposed to have, drop all thoughts of procuring me any 
previous favors from ministers; my accepting them would 
fatroy the very influence you propose to make use of; they 
wmdd be considered as so many bribes to betray the interest 
tf ny country : but only let roe see the jnnpoiUxMns, and if I 
^prove of them, I shall not hesitate a moment, but will hold 
ftyaelf ready to accompany your lordship at an hoar's wam- 
h^. He then said, he wished I would discourse with lord 
Byde upon the business, and asked if I had any objection to 
aieet bis lordship? I answered none, not the least; that I had 
a great respect for lord Hyde, and would wait upon him 
whenever he should {dease to permit it. He said he would 
^eak to lord Hyde, and send me word. 

On tlie Monday following I received a letter from lord 
Bowe, To understand it better, it is necessary to reflect, that 
h the meantime there was opportunity for Mr. Barclay to 
communicate to that nobleman the Rekarkb I had made on 
the plan, the sight of which had probably changed the pur* 
pose of making any use of me on the occasion. The letter 

GraJUm street^ Feb. 80, irr5. 
NOT liaving had a convenient opportunity to talk with 
lord Hyde until this morning, on the subject I mentioned 
^^bea I had, my worthy friend, the pleasure to see you last^ 



i now give you the eariifst informatioii of hb Iordsh^8fl» 
tiroents upon my propooition. 

He declares lie has no personal objectioHf and thftt ka il 
always desirous. of the conversation erf men of kiMmk|% 
eonsequently^ in that respect* would have a pleasvre in jiiwa 
But he apprehends, that on the present Ameriean ooota^ 
your principled and his* or rather those of parliamcnif wn 
as yet so wide from. each other, that a meeting roerrly tb dli^ 
cuss them, might give you unnecessary trouble* SImnM }«• 
think otherwise, or should any propitious circumstaaon •§► 
proximate such distant sentiments, he would be kappytaia 
used as a channel to convey what might tend to hmnmaff 
from a person of credit to those in powers and I wiB vca» 
ture to advance, from my knowlege of his lordship's i 
of men and things, that nothing of that nature would i 
in the passage. 

I am, with a sincere regard, your most obedient i 

To Dr. FrofJdin. HOWK 

As I tiad no desire of obtruding myself upon iwd fiyl% 
though a little piqued at his declining to see me, I tlMHfgfclil 
best to show a decent indifference, which I endeavored in lit 
following answer. 

Craven street, FA SO, 1775. 

HAYING nothing to ofer on the American busineasb ii 

• addition to what lord Hyde is already acquainted witli tnm 

the papers that have passed, it seems most respectAd bs( Il 

give bis lordship the trouble of a visit; since a mere diBC» 

sion of the sentiments contained in those papers^ is bq^ la 

his opinion, likely to produce any good eSeet I am tkaaUUt 

' however, to his lordship, for the permission of wa9iogi8 

him, which I shall usr if any thing occura that augr gcva a 

chance of utility in such an interview. 

With sincere esteem and respect, I have the konor is k% 
my lord, your lordsiiip's most obedient humble servant^ 
I/prd Onve. . *• FllANKlDL 

On fte morning of tbe same day, February 20, it was cai^ 
kfVitiy and induslrioasly reported all over the town» that lord 

Jhrtk would that day make a pacific motion in the house 
Mf pommonsy'for healing all differences between Britain and 
' ilsmrirn The house was acccordin|^y very full, and the 
* Aenbers full of expectation. The Bedford party, inimical to 
r lymerica, and who had urged severe measurest were alarmed^ 
> iid b^;an tp exclaim against the minister for his timidity^ 
(iM the fluctuation of his politics; they even began to count 
Ibices, to see if they could not, by negativing his. motion, at 
I Moe unhorse him, and throw him out of administration. His 
rllends were therefore alarmed for him, and there was much 
( tubiffiag and whispering. At length a motion, as one had 
i^M promised, was made, but whether that originally in- 
I Inided, is with me very doubtful: I suspect, from its imper- 
frtict composition, from its inadequateness to answer the pur* 

pose previously professed, and from some other circum- 
! flliices, that wlien first drawn it contained more of Mr. Bar- 
' jftty'a plan, but was curtailed by advice, just before it was 

IdiTered. My old proposition of giving up the regulating 
I ilBflS to the colonies, was in part to be found in it, and many 
t%bo knew nothing of that transaction, said it was the best 
r Ipirt tf the motion : it was as follows: 

I,orfI Mrth*s MMoih Feb. 20, 1775. 
I <<That it is the opinion of this committee, that when the 
[ fsremor, council, and assembly, or general couK of bis 
^^estjr's provinces or colonies, shall propose to make pro* 
ViBioa according to their respective conditions, circurostancefl;, 
ind situations, for contributing their proportion to the com- 
moB defence; such proportion to be raised under the autho- 
tity of thcL general court, or general assembly of such pro- 
vince or colony, and disposable by paHiam(*nt; and shall 
esgage to make provision also for the support of tlie civil 
government, and tbe administration of justice in such pro- 
lince or colony, it will be proper, if such proposal shall be 
^proved by his majesty in parliament, and for so long as 


tach provision shall be made ^cordingly, to forbear in ra- 
pect of such province or colony^ to levy any datieS) to, a 
assessmentf or to impose any farther daty, taxy or ms» 
ment, except only snch duties at it may be expedient t»ja- 
pose for the regulation of commerce; the nett produce of tte 
duties last mentioned, to be carried to the accduntof mk 
province^ colony, or plantation exclusively/' 

After a good deal of wild debate, in which thus motioD in 
supported upon various and inconsistent principles hj Ike 
ministerial people, and even met with an opposition from sine 
of them, which showed a want of concert, probably iroffltk 
suddenness of the alterations above supposed, thej aD qH 
at length, as usual, in voting it by a large majoritr. Heari^ 
nothing all the following week from Mess, Barclay aad Fo- 
thergill, (except that lord Hyde, when acquainted with nj 
willingness to engage for payment of the tea, had said it gave 
him new Itfe,^ nor any thing from lord Howe, I meotJoiei 
his silence occasionally to his sister, adding, that I soppasei 
it owing to his finding what he had proposed to me was not 
lil&ely to take place; and I wished her to desire bim, if M 
was the case, to let me know it by a line, that I might he it 
liberty to take other measures. She did so as soon as ben- 
turned froni the country, where he had been for a day or twj 
and I received from her the following note, viz. 

MRS. HOWE'S compliments to Dr. Franklin: lordHowt 
not quite understanding the message received from ber,il 
be glad to have the pleasure of seeing him, either betwea 
twelve and one this morning, (the only hour he is at llber^f 
this day,) at her house, or at any hour to-morrow niost w 
▼enient to him. 

Orafton street, Tuesday. 

I met his lordship at the hour appointed. He said tkitb 
had not seen me lately, as he expected daily to have 9o«- 
thing more material to say to me than had yet oocnrwij 
gnd hoped that I wonld have called on lord Hyde, asl hd 

BsMAMix nuvsxior. S4l 

fntimated I should do when I apprehended it might be UBefulf 
which he was sorry to find I had not done. That there waa 
something in my verbal message by Mrs.' Howe, which per- 
haps she had apprehen«led imperfectly; it was the hint of my 
purpose to take other measnrcs. I answered, that having 
since I had last seen his lordship heard of the death of my 
wife at Philadelphia, in whose hands I had left the care of 
my affairs there» it was become necessary for me to .return 
thither as soon as conveniently might be; that what his lord- 
ship had proposed, of my accompanying him to Americat 
mighty if likely to take place, postpone my voyage to suit his 
conveniency; otherwise, I should proceed by the first ship. 
That I did suppose, by not hearing from him, and by lord 
North's motion, all thoughts of that kind were laid aside, 
which was what I only desired to know from him. He said 
my last paper of Remarks by Mr. Barclay, wherein I had 
made the indemnification of Boston for the injury of stop- 
ping its port, a condition of my engaging to pay for the tea, 
(a condition impossible to be complied with,) had discouraged 
farther proceeding on that idea. Having a copy of that paper 
in my pocket, I showed his lordsliip that I had proposed no 
such condition of my engagement, nor 9inf other than the 
repeal of all the Massachusetts acts: that what followed re- 
lating to the indemnification was only expressing my private 
opinion that it would be just, but by no means insisting upon 
it He said the arrangements were not yet determined on; 
that as I now explained myself, it appeared I had been much 
misapprehended; and he wished of all things I would see 
krd Hyd<*t and asked if I would chuse to' meet him there, at 
Mrs. Howe's, or that he should call upon me: I said that I 
would by no means give lord Hyde that trouble. That since 
he (lord Howe) seemed to think it might be of use, and wish- 
ed it done soon, I would wait upon lord Hyde: I knew him 
to be an early riser, and would be with him at 8 o'clock the 
next morning; winch lord H^two undertook to acquaint him' 
with: but I added, that from what circumstances I could 
"Collect of the disposition of ministry, I apprehended my visit 

542 mxouts oT 

would Mumer no material purpose. He was of a dUBerMlt 
<^nion» to which I Bubmitted. 

The next mortiuigy March Istf I accordingly was cariy 
with lord Hjde, who received me with his usual politeneaSi 
We talked over a great part of the dispute between the Goaa^ 
tries. I found him ready with all the newspaper and pamplh 
let tqiicSf of the expense of settling our coloniest the protec- 
tion aflforded them, the heavy debt under which Britain br 
bored, the equity of our contributing to its alleviation; thit 
numy people in England were no more represented than we 
were, yet all were taxed and governed by parliament, ttc'kxL 
I answered all, but with little effect; for though his lordship 
seemed civilly to hear what I said, I had reason to beUeire te 
attended very little to the purport of it, his mind being em- 
ployed the while in thinking on what he himself purposed ts 
say next He had hoped, he said, that lord North's notioa 
would have been satisfactory; and asked what could be ob- 
jected to it I replied, the terms of it were, that we shosU 
grant money till parliament had agreed we had given enough, 
without having the least share in judging of the propria of 
the measure for wliich it was to be granted, or of our own 
abilities to grant; that these grants virere also to be rikade 
«nder a threat of exercising a cIsAmed right of taxing us at 
pleasure, and compelling such taxes by an armed forcOtif we 
did not give till it should be thought we had gi^en enough; 
that the proposition was sitnilar to no mode of obtaining aids 
flutt ever existed, except that (tf a highwayman, who presenti 
bis pistol and hat at a coach window, demanding no specific 
sum, but if you will give all your money, or wbat lie is 
pleased to think sufficient, he will civilly omit putting bis 
own hand into your pockets: if not, there is his pistol: that 
the mode of raising contributions in an enemy's country was 
fairer than this, since there an explicit sum was demanded, 
and the people who were raising it knew what tliey were 
about, and when they should have done:^and that, in shorff 
no free people could ever think of beginning to grant I'poa 
each terms: that, besides, a new dispute had now been rais» 


ed^ by the parliament's pretending to a power of altering oar 
charters and established laws* which was of still more impor- 
tance to us than their claim of taxation, as it set us all adrift^ 
and left us without a privilege we could depend upon, but at 
thehr pleasure; this was a situation we could 4iot possibly be 
iii» and as lord North's proposition had no relation to this 
matter, if the other had been such as we could, have agreed 
to, we should still be far from a reconciliation. His lordship 
thought I misunderstood the proposition; on* which I took it 
out And read it: he then waived that point, and said he should 
be glad to know from me what would produce a reconcilia- 
tion. I said that his lordship, I imagined, had seen several 
proposals of mine for that purpose. He said he had ; but some 
of oiy articles were such as would never be agreed to: that 
it was apprehended 1 had several instructions and powers to 
offer more acceptable terms, but was extremely reserved^ 
and perhaps from a desire he did not blame, of doing better 
Ibr my constituents; but my expectations might deceive me, 
and he did think, I might be assured, I should never obtain 
better terms than what were now offered by lord North; that 
administration had a sincere desire of restoring harmony, 
vith America, and it was thought if I would co-operate with 
tbera the business would be easy: that he hoped I was above 
retaining resentment against them, for what nobody now ^i- 
proved, and for which satisfaction might be made me: that I 
waSf as he understood, in high esteem among the Americans; 
that if I W9uld bring about a reconciliation on tenAs suitable 
to the dignity of government, I might be as highly and ge- 
nerally esteemed here, and be honored and rewarded perhaps 
ttyand my expectation. 

I replied, that I thought I had given a convincing proof of 
my sincere desire of promoting peace, when, on being inform- 
ed that all wanted for the honor of go ernment, was toob- 
iiun payment for the tea, I offered, witKiut any instruction 
to warrant my so doing, or assurance tha I slinuld be reim- 
bursed, or my conduct approved, to engagi for that payment^ 
if the Massachusetts acts were to be repealed; an engage* 


mont in whicji I must have risked my whole fortune] wUAf 
thought few besides me would have done: that in truth, pri^ 
vate resentments had no weight with me in public business; 
that I was not the reserved man imagined; having really n^ 
secret instructions to act upon. That I was certain!; willing 
to do every thing that could reasonably be expected of me. 
But if any supposed I could prevail with my countrymen to 
tiriie black for whlte^ and wrong for right* it was not knov- 
ing either them •or me : they were not capable of being m 
imposed on* nor was I capable of attempting it He then ask- 
ed my opinion of sending over « commissioner* for tiie par- 
pose mentioned in a preceding part of this account; and my 
answer was to the same effect. By the way, I apprehend, 
that to give me an opportunity of discoursing with lord Hyde 
on that point* was a principal motive with lord Howe* for 
urging me to make this visit His lordship did not eipre» 
his own sentiments upon it And thus ended this converBBtioa. 
Three or foufidays after* I received the following note from 
Mrs. Howe. 

MRS. HOWE'S compliments to Ih*. Franklin: lord Howv 

.begs to have the pleasure of meeting him once more before 

be goes* at her house; he b at present out of town, but re* 

turns on Monday* and any day or hour after that* that the 

doctor will name* he will be very glad to attend him. 

Oraflon stred, Saturday^ March 4^5. 

I answered that I .would do mjrself the honor of waitiqg 
on lord Howe at her house the Tuesday following* at eiera 
o'clock. We met accordingly. He began by saying* that I 
bad been a better prophet than himself* in foreseeii^ that my 
interview with lord Hyde would be of no great use: and 
then said that he hcfped I would excuse the trouble he hd 
giv^n me* as bis intentions had been good both towards me 
and the public: be was sorry that at present there was na 
qvpearance of things going into the train he had wished* hot 
that possibly they might yet take a more favorable turn; and 
as he understood I waa going soon to America^ if he A^M 

chance to be sent thitfaer on that important bu^iness^ he 
hoped be migiit still expect my assistance. I assured him of 
my readiness at all times of co-operating with him in so 
good a work : and so taking my leave, and receiving his good 
wishes, ended the negotiation with lord Howe. And I heard 
no more of that with Messrs. Fothergill and Barclay: I 
could only gather from some hints in their conversation, that 
neither of them were well pleased with the conduct of the 
ministers respecting tliese transactions: and a few days be- 
fore I left London, I met them by their desire, at the doctor's 
house, when they desired me to assure their friends from 
them, that it was now their fixed opinion, that nothing could 
secure the privileges of America, but a firm, sober adherence 
to the terms of the association made at the congress, and thai 
the salvation of English liberty depended now on the perse*, 
verance and virtue of America. 

During the whole, my time was otherwise much taken up, 
by friends calling continually to inquire news from America: 
members of both houses of parliament, to inform me what 
passed in the houses, and discourse with me on tlie debateS|^ 
and on motions made or to be made; merchants of London 
and of the manufacturing and port towns on their petitions, 
the Quakers upon tlieirs, &c. &c., so that I had no time to 
take notes of almost any thing. This account is tliercfore; 
chiefly from recollection, in which doubtless much must have 
been omitted, from deficiency of memory; but whut there is 
I believe to be pretty exact; except that discoursing with so 
many different persons about the same time, on tlie same sub- 
ject, I may possibly have put down some things as said by 
or to one person, which passed in conversation with another. 
A little before I left London, being at the house of lords, 
wiien a debate in which lord Camden was to speak, and who 
indeed spoke admirably on American affairs, I was mucli 
disgusted, from the ministerial side, by many base reflortions 
on American courage, religion, understantling, &r. in which 
we were treated with the utmost contempt, as the lowest of 

VOL. L Y y 


mankind^ and almost of a diflTcrent species trom the EngliA 
of Britain ; but particularly the American honesty was abved 
by some of the lords, who asserted that we were all knara^ 
and wanted only by this dispute to avoid paying cor debts; 
that if we had any sense of equity or justice, we should ofo 
payment of tlie tea, &c. I went home somewhat irritated aiii 
heated^ and partly to retort upon this nation, on tbeaitick 
of efttify, drew up a memorial to present to lord Baitmooth 
before my departure; but consulting my friend, Mr. Thoou 
Walpole upon it, who is a member of the house of commoH^ 
he looked at it and at me several times alternatdji as if k 
apprehended me a little out of my senses. As I was is tk 
hurry of packing up, I requested him to take thetnmbleof 
showing it to his neighbor lord Camden, and ask bis adrice 
i][ion it, which he kindly undertook to do; and returned it 
me with a note, which here follows the proposed memorial. 

To the Bight Honorable the Earl of Dartmouth^ oneofkis 
Mqjesty^s principal Secretaries of State. 

A Memorial of Benjamin Franklin, Agent of the Pronnce 
of Massachusetts Bay. 

WHEREAS an injury done, can only give tbcpirtj 
injured a right to full reparation; or, in case thatbereM 
a right to return an equal injury; and whereas the blorkide 
of Boston, now continued nine months, hath every week rf 
its continuance done damage to that town, equal to what w 
suffered there by the India company; it follows that soch tt- 
euding damage is an injury done by this governmeflt for 
which reparation ought to be made. And whereas repantieo 
of injuries ought always (agreeably to the custom of all M- 
tions savage as well as civilized) to be first required before* 
tisfaction is taken by a return of damage to the aggresMRI 
which was not done by Great Britain in the instance abovemoi- 
tioned; I the underwritten, do therefore, as their agent, io tl* 
behalf of my country and the town of Boston, protest against 
the continuance of the said blockade: and I do hereby solemnly 


demand satisfaction for the accumulated injury done them^ 
beyond tlie value of the India company's tea destroyed. And 
whereas the conquest of the Gulph of St. Lawrence, the 
coasts of Labrador and Nova Scotia, and the fisheries pos- 
sessed by the French there and on the banks of Newfound* 
land, so far as they were more extended than at present, was 
made by the Join^ forces of Britain and the colonies, the lat- 
ter having nearly an equal number of men in that service 
with the former; it follows that the colonies have an equita- 
ble and just right to participate in the advantage of those 
fisheries: I do therefore, in the behalf of the colony of the Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, pi*otest against the act now under considera* 
tion in parliament, for depriving that province, with others^ 
of that fishery (on pretence of their refusing to purchase 
British commodities) as an act highly unjust and injurious: 
and I give notice, that satisfaction will probably one day be 
demanded for all the injury that may be done and sulTered 
in the execution of sucii act: and that the injustice of the 
proceeding is likely to give such umbrage to atl the eoknUes^ 
tint in no future war, wherein other conquests may be medi- 
tated, either a man or a shilling will be obtained from any 
of them to aid such conquests, till full satisfaction be mkde 
as aforesaid. 

Given in London, this I6th day of March, 1775. 

To Dr. Franklin. 
Dear Sir, 
I RETURN you flie memorial, which it is thought might 
be attended with dangerous consequences to your person, and 
contribute to exasperate the nation. 

I heartily wish you a prosperous voyage, a long health, 
and am, with the sincerest regard, your most faithful and 
obedient servant, THOMAS WALPOLE. 

lincoWs Inn Fields, I6th March, 1775. 

Mr. Walpole called at my house the next day, and hear- 
ing I was gone to the house of lords> came there to me^ and 


repeated more fully what was in his note; adding, that it was 
thought my having no instructions directing me to deli?er 
such a protest) .would make it appear still more unjustifiable, 
and be deemi*d a national affront: I had no desire to mke 
matters Wia*sei and^ being grown cooler^ took the advice so 
kindly given me. 

The evening before I left London, I received a note Inn 
Dr. Fothergilly with some letters to his friends in Pbiladd- 
phia. In that note be desires me to get those friends, <«ud 
two or three moi*e together, and inform them, that vhtterer 
specious pretences are offered, they are all hollow; andtbit 
to get a larger field on which to fatteii a herd of wortkks 
parasites, b all that is regarded. Perhaps it may be proprr 
to acquaint them with David Barclay's and our united endei* | 
vors, and the effects. They will stun at least. If not coMiactt 
the most worthy, that nothing very favorable is intended, it 
more unfavorable articles cannot be obtained." Tiie doctor 
in the course of his daily visits among the great, in the prac- 
tice of his profession, bad full opportunity of behig acqtuiit- 
ed with their sentiments, the conversation every where ton- 
ing upon the subject of America. 

Here unfortunately Dr. Franklin's interesting narratlTe 
closes, and the editor is forced to resume. 

During the passage to America, Dr. Franklin not oalj 
occupied himself in writing the preceding narrative of Iv 
noble efforts to prevent a war, which the rapacity and 'ah- 
tuation of the British ministry utterly defeat^, but helik^ 
wise employed himself in making experiments and obsern- 
tions on the waters of the ocean, by means pf the thermo- 
meter, in order to ascertain the exact course of the |[nlpk 
stream; by the knowlege of which, mariners might hereafter 
^ avoid or avail themselves of its current, according to their 
various destinations.* These experiments and observatiotf 

• It 18 ascerUuned by Dr. Franklin's experiments, that a navig»toriw/ 
alwajra know when he ia in the gulph stream, by tbe warmth of the «ater» 


wni be found in their approprinte place — bis pliilosophical 
works; but tbe following general reflections connected there- 
with, by this friend of tbe huutan race, may witii propriety 
be here introduced. 

^^NaTigation, when employed in supplying necessary pro- 
visions to a country in want, and thereby preventing famines, 
which were more frequent and destructive before the inven- 
tion of that art, is undoubtedly a blessing to mankind. When 
employed merely in transporting superfluities, it is a question 
whether tbe advantage of the employment it afi<>rds is equal 
to the mischief of hazarding so many lives on the ocean. But 
when employed in pillaging vierchanis and transporting slaroeSf 
it is clearly the means <»f augmenting the mass of human mi- 
sery. It is amazing to think of the ships and lives risked in 
fetching tea from China, coffee from Arabia, sugar and to- 
bacco from America, all which our ancestors did well with- 
out. Sugar employs near one thousand ships, tobacco almost 
as many. For tbe utility of tobacco there is little to be said; 
and for that of sugar, how much' more commendable would it 
be, if we could give.up the few minutes gratification afforded 
once or twice a day by the taste of sugar in our tea, rather 
than encourage the cruelties exercised in producing it. An 
eminent French moralist s^ys, that when he considers the 
wars we excite in Africa to' obtain slaves, the numbers neces- 
sarily slain in those wars, the many prisoners who perish at 
sea by sickness, bad provisions, foul air, &c. in the transpor- 
tation, and how many afterwards die from the hardships of 
slavery, he tannot look on a piece of sugar without conceiv- 
ing it stained with spots of human Uood! had he added the 
consideration of the wars we make to take and retake the 
sugar islands from one another, and the fleets and armies 
that perish in those expeditions, he might have seen his sugar 
not merely spotted, but thoroughly dyed scarlet in grain! It 

which is much greater than that of tbe water on either side of it If, then, 
he is bound to the vfest-ward, he should cross tbe stream to get out of it 
«8 loon as possibles and if to tbe eattvard, endeavor to remain In it 

350 M£MOIRS or 

is these wars that made the maritime powers of Europe, the 
inhabitants of London and Paris, pay dearer for sugar Iban 
those of Vienna, a thousand miles from the sea j because their 
sugar costs not only the price th( y pay for it by tiie pound, 
but all they pay in taxes to maintain the fleets and 
that fight for iC'^ 




AFTER a rery pleasant passage of about six weeks^ 
Dr. Franklin arrived at the Capes of Delaware^ was landed 
at Chester^ and thence proceeded by land to Philadelphia^ 
where every mark of rcspectf attachment) and veneration 
was shown him by his fetiow-citizens; and tiie very day after 
his arrival be was elected by the legislature of Pennsylvania^ 
a delegate to congress. In short, his public services met with 
the most flattering rewards that a patriot could possibly de- 

Shortly after his arrival, he thus notices the then state of 
the coIoDieS) in a letter of May 16, \T75, to a friend in Lon- 

•* You will have heard, before this reaches you, of a march 
stolen by the British troops into the country by night, and 
of their exptiition back again. They retreated twenty miles 
in six hours.* \ 

<<The governor of Massachusetts had called the assembly 
to propose lord North's pacific plan; but before the time of 
their meeting, began cutting of throats: you know it was 
said, be carried the sw(yrd in one hand, and the oivct branch 
in the other; and it seems he chose to give them a taste of 
the sward first. He is doubling his fortifications at Boston^ 
and hopes to secure his troops till succour arrives. The place 
indeed, is naturally so defensible, that I think them in no 

«<AI1 America is exasperated by his conduct, and more 
firmly united than ever. The breach between the two coun- 
tries is grown wider, and in danger of becoming irreparable." 

* The battle of Lexin^on, 191h April, 1775. 

3o!2 * MEMOIRS Of 

And to the same friend he wrote some weeks after—- 
<< The congress met at a time when all minds were bo ex* 
asperated by tlie perfidjr of general Gage, and his attack oq 
the country people, that propositions for attempting an ai> 
comroodation were not much relished; and it has been with 
difficulty that we have carried in that assembly, another han* 
ble petition to the crown, to give Britain one more cfumcCf 
one opportunity more of recovering the friendship of the co- 
lonies; which hov|revtT I think she has not sense enoo^h to 
embrace, so I conclude she has lost them for ever/*^ 


* Xever was a prediction more completely verified. The f(4!laimi^ is a 
copy of the petition referred, to by Dr. Franklin, and to which an axtsvcr 
was refused to be giveii. 

M68t Gradoua Sovereij^ 

WE your majesty's faithful subjects of the colonies of New Hmicp* 
shire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantationa, Con- 
necticut, New York, New Jersey, P<fnnsylvania» the counties of Newcsstle* 
Kent, and Sussex ou Delaware^ Maryland, Vir^nia, North Carolina, and 
South Carolina, in behalf of ourselves and the inhabitants of these colo- 
nies who have deputed us to represent them in general congress, entreat 
your majesty's gracious attention to this our humble petition. 

The union between our mother country and these colonies, and the 
energy of mild and just government produced benefits so remai^ably 
important, and afforded such an assurance of their permanency and in- 
crease, that the wonder and envy of other nations were excited* while 
they beheld Great Rritain rising to a power the most extraordinary the 
world had ever known. 

Her rivals, observing that there was no probability of this happy con- 
nexion being broken by civil dissentions, and apprehendin}^ its future eP> 
fects, if left any longer undisturbed, resolved to prevent her receiving 
such continual and formidable accessions of wealth and streng^, by 
checking the growth of those settlements from which they were to be 

In the prosecution of this attempt, events so unfavorable to the desS^ 
took place, every friend to the interest of Great Britain and these 
colonies, entei*tained pleiStng and reasonable expectations of seeing^ an 
additional force and exertion immediately given to the operations of the 
union hitlierto experienced, by an enlargement of the d^mhiions of the 
crown, and the removal of antient and warlike enemies to a greater dis- 


In the same letter he addsy << My time was never more 
employed. In the morning at six, I am at the commit- 
tee of safety^ appointed by the assenibly to put tlie province 

At the coDclusion» therefore* of the late war* the most' glorious and 
adTantageouB that ever had been carried on by Britiah arms, your loyal 
cdonistSp having eontribated to its success, by such repeated and strenu- 
ous esertiooBy as fivquently procured tbem the distinguished approbation 
of your majesty, of the late king, and of parliament, doubted not but 
that they should be permitted, vith the rest of the empire, to share in 
the blessings of peace, and the emoluments of victory and conquest. 

While these recent and honorable aeknowlegements of their merits 
remained on record, in the jdumals and acts of that august legislature, 
the parliament^'undefaced by the imputation or even the suspicion of any 
offence, they were alarmed by a new system of statutes and regulations, 
adopted for the administration of the colonies, that filled their minds 
with the most painful fears and jealousies; and, to their inexpressible 
astmushment, perceived the danger of a foreign quarrel quickly suc« 
ceeded by domestic danger, in their judgment, of a more dreadful kind. 

Kor were these anxieties alleviated by any tendency in this system to 
promote the welfare of their mother countiyi for thougph its effects were 
Quvre immediately felt by them, yet its influence appeared to be injurious 
to the commerce and prosperity of Great Britain. 

We shaU decline the ungrateful task of describing the irksome variety 
of artiiloes, practised by many of your majesty's ministers, the delusive 
pretences, fruitless terrors, and unavailing severities, that have from time 
to time been dealt out by them, in their attempts to execute this impo* 
Ctic plan, or of tracing through a series of years past, the progress of the 
unhiq^ differences between Great Britain and these colonies, that have 
flowed from this fatal source. 

Tour nu^esty's ministers, persevering in their measures, and proceed- 
ing to open hostilities for enforcing them, have compelled us to arm in 
our own defence, and have engaged us in a controversy so peculiarly ab- 
horrent to the affections of your still faithful colonists, that when we con- 
sider whom we must oppose in this contest, and, if it continues, what 
nay be the coosequences, our own particular misfortunes are accounted ' 
by us only as parts of our distress. 

Knowing to what violent resentments, and incurable animosities, civil 
discords are apt to exasperate and inflame the contending parties, we 
think ourselves required by indispensable obligations to Almighty Go<l, 
to your majesty, to our fellow-sub iects, and to ourselves, immediately to 
use all the means in our power; not incompatible with our- safety, for 

VOL.1. Zz 

S54 MSHOIES 01? 

» ft state of defence $ whidi committee liolda titf near imff 
when I am at the congrfssr and that stts till after four txi the 
afieraoon. Both these bodies proceed wHb the greatest 

ifbo^ping the further effiitton of blood» and for ateninr the imp en d iaf 
ealamilieff tb«t thieateft the British estpire. 

Thus called upon to addresa your majestyy on afRura of soch taonat 
to America, and probably to all your dominkmty Ire are eamestly^ derir* 
•oa of perfbtming thia office^ with the utmoat defereseete yotir majes- 
ty: and we therefore pray, that your majesty^ royal nagnammity and 
benevolence may nuJte the moat faTOrabte con^truetton of our «spsrs- 
aiona on so imcoaiinon an 06eaait>D. Could we represent in their lUl 
ibf oa» the sentimenta that a|^te the minds of us your dutiful tul^ects, 
we are persuaded your majesty would ascribe any seeming deviation 
from reverence in our langaag*e, wd even in our conduct, not to an^ re- 
pt«benaibte intention, but to the impossibirtty of reconctlhi; the usual 
appearaneea of respect with a just attention to our own preserratjon, 
agahist those artful and cruel enemies, who abuse your royal confidence 
and authority, for the purpose of effecting our destruction. 

Attached to your majest/s person, family, and government, writh all 
the devotion that prineiple and affliction can inspire, connected wiA 
Great Britain by the strongest ties that can unite societies, and deplor^ 
ing every event that tends in any degree to weaken them, we sdeoinly 
assure your majesty, that we not only most ardently desire the former 
harmony between her and these colonies may be restored, but tha;t a.con« 
card may be established between them, upon so firm a basis aa to petpe* 
tuate its Uesaings, uninterrupted by any future dissentions, to succeed- 
ing generations in both countries, and to transmit your majesty's name 
to posterity, adorned with that aignal and lasting glory, that has attended 
the memory of those illustrious personages, whose virtues and abilities 
have extricated f tates from dangerous convulsions, and, by securing hap- 
piness to others, have erected the most noble ^ and durable monuments to 
their own fame. 

MTe beg leave furth'er to assure your majesty, that notwithstanding the 
aufierings of your loyal colonists, during the course of this present con- 
troversy, our breasts retain too tender a regard for the kingdom from 
whichSre derive our origin, to requeat such a reconciliation as might in 
any manner be inconsistent vrith her dignity or her welfare. These, re- 
lated aa we are to her, honor and duty, as well as in^ination, induce us 
to support and advance; and the apprehensions that now oppress our 
hearts with unspeakable grief, being once removed, your majesty wiB 
find your faithful aubjects on this continent ready and willing at all 
times, as they have ever been, with their lives and fortunes, to assert and 

BBirj^xiir nuKKUir. 555 

nimityf and their laeetxiigB are wdl attended. It wiH scaree 
be credited in Britain^ tliat men can be at diligent with m, 
finm seal fit^ the pnUic good, an with yon for tboaeands per 

nuuBtun the rights and interests of your majestyy and of our xootber 

We therefore beseech your majesty, that your royal authority and in- 
.iUienoe may be graetously interposed to pcooure u« Mlief ffpin our af* 
flicting fears and jealousies, occasioned by the system beforementioaed^ 
and to settle peace through every part of |Mr dominkms; with all humi« 
' Uty submitting to your majesty's wise coJKration, whether it may net 
be expedient for facilitating those importaot purposes, that your ma^sty 
be pleased to direct some mode, by which the united applications of your 
faithful colonists to the throne, in pursuance of their common councilst 
nay be improved into a happy and permanent reconciliation; and that * 
in the mean tiW» measures may be taken fer preventing the further de« 
itraction of the lives of your majesty's subjects ; and that such statute* 
as more immediately distress any of your majesty's colonies may be re- 

For by such arrangements as your majesty's wisdom can fqrm for tQl" 
lecting the iroited sense of yottf American people, we are convinced your 
majesty would receive such satisfactory proofs of the disposition of the 
Mloniata towards their sovereign and parent state, 4hat ^le ^milied-for 
opportunity would soon be restored, to them, of evincing the siucerity of 
their professions, by^very testimony of devotion becoming t)ie most du- 
tiful subjects and the most affectionate colonists. 

That yoA majesty may enjoy a long and prospenmi Kign, and that 
your descendants nuiy govern your dominions with honor to themselves 
and happiness to their aubjccts, is our sincere prayer. 

JVfew Eawpihire, Contiectienif 

John Lfangdon, Roger Sherman, 

Thomas Cushing. Silas Dean. 

MaMaacktt$ett9 Jloy, *Ar«w Tork^ 

Samuel Adams, Pb. Livingston, 

John Adams. James Duanc, 

Bob. Treat Pwe- ^^^^ Alsop, 

Francis Lewis, 

Shade Jslmid, ^ ' John Jay, 

Stephen Hopkins, E. Uvingiton, jiau 

Samuel Ward, I^wis Moryis, 

Eliphalet Dyer, William Flfiyd, 

• Henry Wisner, 



annum. Such is the difference between ancorrupted m 
. ^t^A) and cofTQpted old on^s.^ 

i^ was about, iliis tinne ffiat Dr. Franklin addresHod M 

memorable and laconic e|H8tle to his old friend and^coiqi- 

nion Mr. Strahan* 

British'parliament For 


The following proposed Inlrdducium to a raokitUmifm' 
' gresSf (not pstssed) drawn up by Dr. Franklin, is aboMly 

expressive^ of, his w4J|lb feelings and sentiments ^thit 

onic e|H8tle to his old friend and^coiqi- 
(then king^s printer, and 'member ^th>| 
For MalmsburyO of^faich rfiuv«i)iiile^ ^^ 


Whereas the BritiBh nation, throu^ g^at corrvptloii of maiinen i 
extreme dUsipation and profusion, ba^ private, ^d puhtiCyhspeibiiH 
all honest resources insiiificient to supply their excessiTe luxyry tndpnH 
4igality, and thereby have been driven to the praetice of every injostkc, J 
which axarif>e fOMld dictate oc . r^pac^tj^ isxecute : juuki^MraS^ not MJBft^ '1 
fied with the immense plunder of the East, qbtained by sacrificiD; A 
Jions of the human species, the^ have lately tttmed their ejwi tQ^ 
*" tTest, <nd gradgiAg^ «i» the peaoeible enjoyment of the frmtso^oarbud >| 
labor and virtuous industry, have for years past been endeavoriogtoeS' . 


Wm. Uving^toni^ 
J<^nBehait6^ \ • * 
Ridiard Smith. 

Benj. Franklin, 
John Dickinson^ 
GeOrge ftoss, - . n 
James Wilson, 
Chas. Humphreys. 
Edward Biddle. 

Delaware Cmnhf^ 
Caesar Rodney, 
Tho. M*Kean^ t 
George Read. 

Matt. Tilghman, 
Tho. Johnsoiiy jun., 

Philadelphia^ Jufy 8, ITTS,' 

William Paca, 
Samuel Chafie. 
"^hbznas^tDne. ' 

P..iiei»y,.juflu '• 
R. Henry Lee, 
Edm. Pendleton, 
Benj. Harrison^' - 
tfaoa. Jcflerson. 

AbrM CaroHnOf 
William Hooper^ 
Joseph Hewes. .; 

South CaroUtf^ 
Henry Middleton, 
T1R»ma8 Lynch, 
Christ Gadsden, 
J. Rdtledge, 
£dw. RaUedg^. 






'^^^^^yvc^ ^l^^fc:^ \ 

►"^'^^^^ ^^^^>^^^^2^^^ '7^r:3^ 

^;a^-?-<^ .^t-<?^ ^^--^ -^^^2- 


^W-€- — 


Kmai flinirr Lamlpn . 


tort die skme from qs, under color of laws regulating trade; and have 
thereby actually succeeded in draining us of large minis, to our great 
loss and detriment : and whereas, impatient to seize the whole, they have 
at length proceeded to open robbery, declaring by a solenm act of parlia- 
ment, that all our estates are tbeirs^ and all our property found upon the 
sea divisible aniong such of their armed plunderers as shall take the 
same; and have even dared in the same act to declare, that all the spoil* 
ings, thefits, burnings of houses and towns, and murders of innocent peo- 
ple, perpetrated by their wicked snd inhuman corsairs on our coasts, 
previous to any war declared against us, were just actions, and shall be 
so deemed, contrary to several of the commandments of God, (which 
by this act, they presume to repeal), and to all the principles of riglit, 
and sU the ideas of justice, entertained heretofore by every other na- 
tion, savage as well as civilized; thereby manifesting themselves to be 
hutei kumani generif* And whereas it is not possible for. the people of 
America to subsist under such continual ravages without making some 
Therefore resolved^— 

Affairs having now assumed a roost serious aspectt it was 
necessary for the Americans to adopt proper and efficacious 
means of resistance. They possessed little or no coin, and 
even arms and ammunition were wanting. In this situation^ 
the adoption of paper money became indispensably necessary, 
and Dr. Franklin was one of the first to demonstrate the 
necessity and propriety of that measure. Without this suo- 
cedaneum, it would have been impossible to have made any 
other than « feeble and a short resistance against Great Bri- 

The first emission, to the amount of three millions of ctel- 
lars, accordingly took place on the 25th of July^ 1775, under 
a promise of exchanging the notes against gold or silver in the 
space of three yf ars; and towards the end of 1776, more than* 
twenty-one millions additional were put in circulation. The con- 
gress at length began to be uneasy, notj&nowing how it would 
be possible to redeem so large a sum ; and some of its mem- 
bers having waited upon Dr. Franklin in order to consult 
bim upon tiiis occasion, he spoke to them as follows: «Do 
not make yourselves unhappy; continue to issue your paper 
nM>ney as long as it will pay for the paper, ink, and printing, 

658 M£Moia» 07 

and ive sball be mabled hj its neaiifl lo UqttdateaU ttefS^ 
peases of the war.^ 

In October^ 1775, Ih*. Fratiklifi was appointed hjtongnn, 
jointly with his coHeagues colonel Harrison and Mr. Lijnclf 
a committee to visit the American can^i at Cambridgtw and 
hi conjunction with ilie comnander in chieCv (gpeneral Wash- 
ington,) to endeavor fo convince the troops, whose terai af 
enlistment was about to e3q>ire, of the necessity of their eon- 
tinuing in the field, and persevering in the cause of their 

He was afterwards sent on a misaioo to Canada, to endea- 
vor to unite that conntry to the common cause <if iibcity. 
But the Canadians could not foe prevailed upon lo oppose t e 
measures of the British government." The ill success of th» 
negotiation was supposed to be occasioned in a great degree 
by religious animosittfs, which subsisted between the Cana- 
dians and their neighbors; some of whom had at difereat 
times burnt their places of worship. 

On his peturn Qron Canada, Dt^ Franklin^ under tbe ^ 
rection of congress, wrote to M» Dumas, the AmeracMi a|geat 
in Holland, urging iiim to sound the several govemuieniB of 
Europe, by means of their i^mbassadors at tlie H^be, 9f< to 
any assistaipce they might be disposed to afford America, is 
i^ase of her eventuaUy breaking off, all connexion with Bri- 
tain, and declaring herself an independetd mUion^ 

This decisive measure was now generally a^tated tiirongb- 
.oirt tbe odonies; though it is certain that at the begtn«ing of 
the diflerences, the bulk of tbe people acted from iio fisail 
and determined principle whatever, and bad not eves an idm 


■ It "WUB "fireeted that « printjns^ apparatiiB snd'hsiRlS'oeinpeleBt'to 
tficMit in Fitncb and flteglish shonid locomptny this vinioB. Tvo fareqi 
were smttea and circuUted very extaoMvifrly thiOMfii Cmda; botit mm 
not irotU after the espcsunent hftd been tried, that it w«i found oo^ 
more than one person in five hundred e^ttUi nqt read. Sir. FranUin «y 
accustomed to make the liest of cTery oecurrence, sug^sted that if H 
were intended ^ send «BO«ber mtsaioa^ it should he a jussioa ooa- 
posed of adbadmasters. 

of independence; for ail the addresses from the different co- 
lonies were filled with profe&^ions of iojsitj towards flieir 
6o?ereignt.and breathed the most ardent wishes for an fanme-. 
diate reconcBiation. 

The congress deeming it advisable to know the general 
O|rinion on so important a pointt took an opportunity of feel* 
iog the- pulse of the people, and of preparing them for the 
dedaratiun of independence, by a circular manifesto to the 
neveral colonies, stating the causes which rendered it neees* 
sary that aH authority under the crown should be totally sup- 
preaaed, and all the powers of government taken respectively 
into their own hands. In support of this position, they in- 
stanced the proMbitortf actf by which they were excluded ttom 
the protection of the crown; the rejection of their petitions 
for redress of grievances, and a reconciliation; and the in- 
tended exertion of aH tlie force of Great Britain, aided by 
foreign mercenarit s, for their destruction. 

At length this important question was discussed in congress, 
and at a time when the fleets and armies which were sent to 
enforce obedience, were truly formidable. The debate con- 
tinned for several days, and the scheme encountered great 
opposition from several distinguished orators. Eventually^ 
however, notwithstanding all the disadvantages the country 
then labored under, from an army ignorant of discipline, 
and entirely unskilled in the art of war; — without a fleet — 
without allies — ^and with nothing but the love of liberty to 
support them; the colonies, by their representatives in con- 
gress, determined to separate from a country which bad ad- 
ded injury to insult, and disregarded all the pacific overtures 
tiley had made to it On this question Dr. Franklin was de- 
cidedly in favor of the measure proposed, and used all his 
great influence in bringing others over to bis opinion. 

The public mind, which had already been drawn that way 
by the manifesto of congress, was now confirmed in its deci- 
sion, by the appearance of Painc's celebrated pamphlet, 
** Common Sense;^* and there is good reason to believe^ that 

360 MEMOIBJ 07 

Dr. Franklin had no inconsiderable sbarey at least inforniib- 
log materials for that work J 

It was on the 4th day of July, 1776, thkt the thirteen Eng* 
lish colonies in America declared themselves free and inde- 
pendent states, and by an act of congress abjured nil alle- 
giance to the British crown, and renounced all political con- 
nection with Great Britain. 

This public record, the first declaration of the righto oft 
people to'establish, and if necessary to their hi^pinenito 
abrogate their own form of government, and to hold the80T»> 
reignty inalienably in the people, was produced In a comnNi- 
tee of three members of congress; it was definitively drifted 
(and adopted, with a few slight alterations) by that eminnt 
patriot, philosopher, and friend of mankind, Thomas Jefer- 
son, then one of the representatives in congress for Viifiaii: 
as a document of considerable Interest and curiosity, and as 
a monument of one of the most important political erents 
in which Dr. Franklin was concerned, it is here noticed. 

In the beginning of this year, i776, an act of tlie Britiak 
parliament passed, to prohibit and restrain, on the onehaidf 
the trade and intercourse of the refractory coUmiti respec- 
tively, during their revolt; and on the other hand, tpenakb 
persons appointed by tlie British king to grant pardons* and 
declare any particular district in tlie king^s peace, &r« I^'' 
Howe (who had been previously appointed cominander of 
the British fleet in North America) was, on May 3, declarrd 
Joint commissioner with his brother general Howe, for tke 
latter purposes of the act He sailed May 12, and while rf 
the coast of Massachusetts, prepared a declaration, annonac- 
ing this commission, and accompanied it with circular letters 

* Thomas Paine did not aifect any reserre on this point; without my 
inquiry on the subject, he stated to the writer of this note, that thc«|^ 
gestion of the papers Common Sense was made to him by Dr. FnnkMJ 
and that the fuhness of his ideas were sucb,Jthat after a conrersstioa wid 
him, his own mind was so much excited that he could not but coinmtfw*** 
the spirit of the conversation in his essays: he also said that ooe ort 
papers were revised by the doctor, but with very few akcratiosS' 



ZK>rd Howe took occasion to publish every where^ that 
be had proposals to make on the part of Great Britain, txni--^ 
ing to peace and reconciliation, and that-he was ready to com* 
tnanicate them. He at the same time permitted tlie American 
general, Sullivan, to go on his parole, and give this intelli* 
gence to.the Congress: he hoped, by this means, to create di- 
visions in that body, and throughout the country. TRe Con- 
gress were of opinion, the admiral could have no terms to 
offer, bat such as the act of parliament empowered him to 
offer, which were, pardon upon sttbmission; yet as the people 
might imagine more, and be uneasy if he was not heard, they 
appointed three of their body. Mess. Franklin, John Adams, 
and Edward Rutledge, to meet him. His lordship chose Staten 
Island, which was in possession of tlie English troops, for 
the place of conference. The committee being arrived at Ara- 
boy, a small town in New Jersey, opposite to the island, and 
in possession of the Americans, the admiral sent over his 
barge to receive and bring them to him,* and to leave one of 
his principal officers as a hostage for their safe return. The 
committee of congress had not desired a hostage, and they 
therefore ttiok the officer back with them. The admiral met 
them at their landing, and conducted them through his guards 
to a convenient room for conference: be was surprised at 
their confidence, in bringing back. his hostage; and more at 
the little estimation in which they appeared to hold his offers 
of pardon, and of inquiring into grievances. He seemed to 
have flattered himself, that the congress, humbled by their late 
losses, would have been submissive and compliant : he found 
himself mistaken. The committee told him firmly, jthat if he 
had nothing else to propose, he was come too late: the humble 
petitions of congress had been rejected with contempt; inde* 
pendence \yas now declared, and the new government formed. 
And wLen in endeavoring to cajole them, he expressed his 
<< affection for America, his concern in viewing her dangerous 
situation, and said that to see her fall would give him the 
same pain as to see a brother fall,'' they answered, that it was 
kind, but America would endeavor to spare him that pain* 
VOL.1. 3 A 


They returned and reported the conference to congreHf 
who published it, and the people were satisfied that they had 
uo safety but in arms. 

Part of the correspondence between lord Howe and Dr. 
Franklin on this occasion, and the joint report of the Atte« 
rican commissioners on the result of their missiony was pob* 
lished; the first letter of lord Howe and the answer of the 
doctor have been already publisht d,"* but the reply of lord 
Howe and the following preftftory note, by doctor Franklioi 
have not appeared before the present time. 

Thesn letters were published In London, to show the inso- 
lence of the insurgentSf in refusing the oflTer of pardon vpon 
submission made to them by the British plenipotentiaries* 
They undoubtedly deserve the attention of the public fiu* ano- 
ther reason, the proof they afford that the commerce of Ame* 
rica is deemed by the ministry themselves of such vast in- 
portance, as to justify the horrid and expensive war they are 
now waging, to maintain the monopoly of it; that being the 
principal cause stated hy lord Howe; though their pensioned 
writers and speakers in parliament haveafiected to treat that 
comnierce as a trifle. And they demonstrate further, of how 
much importance it is to the rest of Europe, that the conti- 
nuance of that monopoly should be obstructed, and the gene* 
ral freedom of trade, now ofiered by the Americans, preaerv* 
ed; since by no other means the enormous growing power of 
Britain, both by sea and land, so formidable to her neigh* 
bors, and which must follow her success, can possibly be pre- 

To Dr. FrankHn. 
Eagle, off StaUn Island, Mgust the 16/A, 1776. 
I AM sorry, my worthy friend, that it is only on the as- 
suranrrs you give me, of my having still preserved a place 

V The letter of lord Hove and the ansirer of Dr* ftaoklia will be 
found in Vol. V. of this edition^ pag« 393. 


in your esteem, that I can now found a pretension to trouble 
yoQ with a reply to your favor of the Slst past 

I can have no difficulty to acknowlege, that the powers I 
am invested with, were never calculated to negotiate a re- 
inion with America, under any other description than as 
subject to the crown of Great BriUiin: but i do esteem those 
powers competent, not only to confer and negotiiite with any 
l^eutlemen of influence in the Colonies upon the terras, but 
also to effect a lasting pi^ace and reunion between tl»e two 
ooantriesj were the temper of the colonies such as professed 
in the last petition of tlic congress to the king. America 
would have judged ill the discussion how far the means were 
adequate to the end ; botli for engaging her ronficU^ncc and 
proving our integrity. Nor did I tiiink it necessary to say 
■MM9 in my public declaration; not conceiving it could be 
understood to refer to peace, on any other conditions but those 
of mnlual interest to both countries, which could alone render 
it permanent. 

But as I perceive, from the tenor of your letter, how little 
I am to reckon upon tJie advantage of your assistance for re- 
storing that permanent union which has long been the object 
ef my endeavors, and which I flattered myself when I left 
England, would be In the compass of my power; I will only 
udd, that as the dishonor to which you deem me exposed by 
my military situation in this country, has effected no change 
in your sentiments of personal regard towards me, so shall 
no diflerence in political points alter my desire of proving 
how much I am your sincere and obedient humble servant, 


Iv CoKGRESS, Sept. 3d, 1776. 

Congress being informed that fi^nersl SuUivan, who was taken prison- 
cr on Long Island^ was come to Philadelpliia with a message from lord 

Ordered, that he be admitted, and heard before congress. 

General SuHiran being admitted, delivered the verbal mcpsage he had 
in charge from lord Howe, which be was desired to reduce to writiDg* 
«nd withdrew. 


September Sd. 

General Sullivan, having reduced to writing the verbal mesBtge froa 
lord Howe, the same was laid before congress and read as follows. 

The following is the purport of the message sent from lord Hovt to 
congress by general Sullivan. 

That though he could not at present treat with congress ts sock, pL 
he was very desirous of having a conference with some of the menben, 
whom he would consider for the present only as private gentkmeD, ind 
meet them himself as such, at such place as they should appoint 

That he in conjunction with general Howe had full powers to compro- 
mise the dispute between Great Britain and America on terms idvM- 
tageous to both, the obtaining of which delayed lum near two moithi is 
England, and prevented his arrival at this place before the declmtioatf 
independence took place. 

That he wished a compact might be settled at this time, when no de- 
cisive blow was struck, and neither party could say they were compeDed 
to enter into such agreement. 

That In case congress were disposed to treat, many things which thcf 
bad not as yet asked, might and ought to be granted to them, indtkit 
if, upon the conference, they found any probable ground of aBscool&no- 
dation, the authority of congress must be afterwai*ds acknowlegcd,otber. 
wise the compact could not be complete. 

September 5th. 

Resolved, that general Sullivan be requested to inform lord Howe, thit 
this congress being the representatives of the free and independent sUta 
of America, cannot, with propriety, send any of its members to ooafo 
with )us lordship in their private, characters, but that, ever desiroai tf 
establishing peace on reasonable terms, they will send a committee of 
their body to know whether he has any authority to treat with pcr*OB» 
authorised by congress for that purpose on behalf of America, and what 
that authority is, and to hear such propositions as he shall think fit tl 
make respecting the same. 

Ordered, tliat a copy of the foregoing resolution, be delivered to P' 
neral SuUivan, and that he be directed immediately to repair to ted 

September 6th. 

Resolved, that the committee <* to be sent to know whether lord Howe 
has any authority to treat with persons authorised by congress for tbit 
purpose, in behalf of America; and what that authority is, and to heit 
such propositions as he shall think fit to make respecting the 8ame,"eoi- 
fist of three. 

The members chosen, 0r. Benjamin Franklin, Mr. John Adams, and 
Mr. Edward Rutledge. 

^SagUf offBedUm^s Bland, Sept 10^ 1776. 
LORD HOWE presents his compliments to DK Frank- 
lin^ and according to the tenor of his favor of the 8th, will 
attend to have the pleasure of meeting him and Messrs. Adams 
and Rnlledge to-morrow morning, at the house on Staten 
bland t opposite to Amboy, as eaily as the few conveniences 
for travelling by land on Staten Island will admitLordHowe^ 
upon his arrival at the place appointed, will send a boat (if 
he can procure it in time) with a flag of truce over to Amboy ; 
and reqoeats the doctor and the other gentlemen will post- 
pone their intended favor of passiilg over to meet bim, untU 
they are informed as abovf; of his arrival to attend them there. 
In case the weather should prove unfavorable for lord 
Howe to pass in his boat to Staten Island to-morrow, as from 
the present appearance there is some reason to suspect, he 
will take the next earliest opportunity that offers for that pur- 
pose. In this intention he may be further retarded, having 
been an invalid lately; but will certainly give the most timely 
notice of that inability. He however flatters himself he shall 
not have occasion to make further excuses on that accounts 

September 13tb. 

The cotDxnittee appointed to confer with lord Howe, having returned, 
made a verbal report 

Ordered, that they make a report in writing, as soon as they conve* 
rnently can. 

September 17th. 

The committe appointed to confer with lord Howe, agreeable to order 
brought in a report in writing which was read as follows. 

In obedience to the orders of congress, we have had a meeting with 
lord Howe, it was on Wednesday last upon Staten Island, opposite to Am- 
boy, where his lordship received and entertained us with the utmost po- 

His lordship opened the conversation by acquainting us, that though 
he could not treat with us as a committee of congress, yet as his pow- 
ers enabled him to confer and consult with any private gentlemen of in- 
fluence in the colonies, on the means of restoring peace between the two 
ooimtries, he was glad of this opportunity of conferring with us on that 
subject, if we thought ourselves at liberty to enter into a conference with 
him in that character. 


We observed to his lordship, that as our business was to hear, he i^lgte 

consider us in what li|^t he pleased, and communicate to us any prop^' 

sition he might be authorised to make for the purpose mentumed; bii 

^>that we could consider ourselves in no other character than that in wftkft 

we were placed by order of congress. 

His lordship then entered into a disconrse of considenble lei^A 
which contained no explicit proposition of peace except one, Ttz. thai 
.the colonies should return to their allegiance and obedience to the go* 
vemment of Great Britain. The rest consisted principally of assurancesi 
that there was an exceeding good disposition in the king and hia monr 
ters to make that government easy to us, with intimations that in caaeaf 
our submission they would cause the offensive acts of parliament to ba 
reviaed> and the instructions toi|;ovemors to be reconsidered; thai ao^if 
any just causes of complaint were found in the acts, or errors in govern* 
ment were perceived to have crept into the instructions, they might be 
amended or withdrawn. 

We gave it as our opinion to his lordship, that a return to the i 
tion of Great Britain was not'now to be expected. We i 
peated humble petitions of the colonies to the king and 
which had been treated with contempt, and answered only by additioBsl 
injuries; the unexampled patience we bad shown under their tymnucal 
government; and that it was not till the last act of parliament whtdk de> 
nouttced war against us, and put us out of the king's proteedon, thai «• 
declared our independence. That this declaration had been called fixr faf 
the people of the colonies in general; that every colony had approved cf 
it, when made; and all now considered themselves as independent stately 
and were settling or had settled their governments accordingly; so that it 
was not in the power of congress to agree for them, that they should i^tna 
to their former dependent state. That there was no doubt of their indun- 
tion to peace, and their willingness to enter into a treaty wi^ Britain 
that might be advantageous to both countries. That though his lordship 
had at present no power to treat with them as independent states, te 
might, if there was the same good disposition in Britain, much sooner 
obtaip firesh powers from thence, than powers coald be obtained by con- 
gress from the several colonies to consent to a submission. 

His lordship then saying that he was sorry to End that no ^*v^*>«tTnoda- 
tion was likely to take place, put an end to the conference. 

Upon the whole, it did not appeal* to your committee, that his fcvd- 
ship's commission contained any authority of importance other than wl^t 
is expressed in the act of parliament, viz. thi4 of granting pardons, with 
such exceptions as the commissioners shall think proper to make; and of 
declaring America or any part of it to be in the king's peace upon sub. 
mission : for as to the power of inquiring into the state of America, which 
his lordship mentioned to us, and of conferring and consulting «'ith any 

lienoM the commiitimiers iDig;fat think proper^ and representing the re- 
Mhofsach conversation to the nimstry, who, provided the colore* 
vonld nihject themselves, might, after all, or might not at their plea- 
nrey make any alterations in the former instructions to governors, or 
propose in parliament any amendment of the acts cdmplained of, we ap- 
prehended any expectation from the effect of such a power would have 
been too uncertain and precarious to be relied on by America* had she 
atiH continued in her state of dependence. 

Qrdewd that the above be published. 

JOHN HANCOCK, President. 

Attest, CHAS. THOMPSON, Secretary. 

Congress in their maniresto had recommended to each 
colony, whose government was not already sufficient, to pro- 
ceed to the institution of such a form, as was necessary to 
tte preservation of internal peace, and suited to the tlien ex- 
igency of their affairs, for the defence of their lives, liber- 
ies, and properties, against tlie hostile invasions and cruel 
i^redations of their enemies. In confomiity with this recom- 
Midation a convention was assembled at Philadelphia in 
ixfyt 1776, for the purpose of settling a new form of govem- 
ttfent for the then 8taU of Pennsylvania. Dr. Fran*klin was 
cbofien president of this convention. The constitution foim- 
ed and establisl^ed at that period for Pennsylvania, was the 
Molt of the deliberations of that assembly, and roa^ be con- 
^red as a digest of Dr. Franklin's principles of govem- 
iKnt. The single legislature and the plural executive^ appear 
to have been his favorite tenets.' 

The virtuous and unfortunate duke do la Rochefoucault^ in 
his eidogiani of Dr. Franklin, in 1790, thus remarks on this 
^Btem of government. 

* Hr. John Adams, whose want of liberality to Dr. Franklin continued 
^^'^^iSh fife, surnved his death, and carried persecution against his 
ftttdson; has in a letter published in a Boston paper, betrayed a gross 
^'^^l^'^Qknce on the subject of this constitution of Pennsylvania ; but ex- 
l^ttce lia^ proved the misfortune of the change of a constitution which 
Puced so many harriers against abuse, for one which has laid open every 
temptaUon to corruption in the inordinate patronage of the executive. 


368 MEMaiRB or 

« Franklin alone, disen|i^ging the political maciiine I 
those niiiltiplied movements and admired counterpotsea that 
rendered it so complicated, proposed the redaaing it ta the 
simplicity of a single legislative body. This grand idea star- 
tled the legislators of ^Pennsylvania; but . the philosopher re- 
moved tlie fears of a considerahle number, and at length de- 
termined the whole to adopt a principle, which the natioaal 
assembly has made the basis of the French conatitution." 

The same distinguislied person adds in a note on this pas- 
sage, of bis printed oration, 

<< The usual progress of the human mind leads man fitn 
the complex to the simple. Observe the works of the first 
mechanics overloaded with numeh)us pieces, some of which 
embarrass, and others diminish their effect. It haa bees the 
same with legislators, both speculative and practical: strack 
with an abuse, they have endeavored to correct it by inatitn- 
tions tiiat have been productive of still greater abuses. In po- 
litical economy the unity of the legislative body is the nuun- 
mum of simplicity. Franklin was the first who dared to put 
this idea in practice: The respect the Pennsylvanians enter- 
tained for him induced them to adopt it; but the other states 
were terrified at it, and even the constitution of Pennsylva- 
nia has since been altered. In Europe this opinion has beei 
more successful. When I bad the lionor to present to Frank- 
lin the translatiorfs of the constitutions of America* tiie 
minds of the people on this side the Atlantic were scarcely 
better disposed towards it than those on the other side; and 
if we except Dr. Price in England, and Turgot and Condor- 
cet in France, no man who applied himself to politics agreed 
in opinion with the American philosopher. I will venture fs 
assert that I was of the small number of those who were 
struck with the beauty of the simple plan he traced, and that 
I saw no reason to change my opinion when the national as- 
sembly, led by the voice of those deop-thinking and eloquent 
oratoi*s, who disrussed that important question, established 
it as a principle of the French constitution, that legtslatioD 
ahoald be confided to a mngle body of representatives. It will 

Bot periiq^ be deemed rnipardon^ble to faftve oace ventimftd 
mymlt, at a time when the honor I have of hiriding a piAlIc 
ckaracter makes it my doty to give an accoimt of my seali* 
Dents to my feUov-citizens., France will not relapse into a 
more complex 8ystem» but will assuredly acquire the glory of 
maintaining that which she has established^ and give U a de- 
gree of perfection whicfay by rendering a great nation bappy^ 
wiU attract the eyes and applauses of all Europe^ and of the 
whole world.''-^The prediction has not been verified as to 
France; but there requires much consideration of other co« 
teaiporary causes^ not likely to be revealed in the preaeait 
djy, before the true causes of the failure can be properly 

During Dr. Franklin's presidency of the convention he 
drew up the following protest against the equality of voting 
in congress; but (as be acknowleged at the timtO he was dis- 
suaded fi-om endeavoring to carry it through^ from pruden* 
tial considerations, respecting the necessary union at that cri- 
tipal period^ of all the states in confederation. 


'< We the representatives of tlie state of Pennsylvania^ in 
full convention met, having duly considered the plan of con- 
federation formed in congress, and submitted to the several 
states, for their assent or dissent^ do hereby declare the dis- 
sent of this state to the same for the following reasons, viz. 

^< 1st, Because the foundation of every confederation, in- 
tended to be lasting, ought to be laid in justice and equity, 
no unfair advantage being given to, or taken by^ any of the 
contracting parties. 

*f 2d^ Because it is, in the nature of things, just and equal, 
that tte respective states of the confederacy should be repre. 
sented in congress, and have votes there in proportion to their 
importance, aristng from their numbers of people, and tbe 
share and degree of strength they afford to the united body. 

VOLwl 5B 

d70 MEM0IB8 OF 

And therefore the XYIIth article,' which gives one tote te 
tlie smalleBt state and no more to the largest, when the difi^ 
ehce between them may be as ten to one, or greater; is on- 
just, and injarious to the larger states, since all of them arc^ 
by other articles, obliged to contribute in proportion to their 
respective abilities. 

<« 3d, Becau^ tlie practice hitherto in congress, of aDov- 
ing only one vote^to each colony, was originally taken ly 
under a conviction of its impropriety and injustice, was in* 
tended to be in some future time corrected, and was theaini 
since submitted to only as a temporary expedient, to be qsd 
in ordinary business, until the means of rectifying the sm 
could be obtained: this clearly appears by tlie resolve of con- 
gress, dated September 6, 1774, being the day of its ineet- 
ing, which resolve is in these words, < That in determiniag 
questions in tliis congress, each colony or province shallhaie 
one vote, the congress not being possessed of, or at preseRt 
able to procure proper materials for ascertaining the ioipor- 
tance of each colony/ That importance has since been sop- 
posed to be best found in the numbers of the people; for tb 
congress, not only by.their resolution when the issoingof bib 
was agreed to, but by this present confederation, have jo^ 
that the contribution towards sinking those bills and to tke 
common expense, should be in proportion to such nmieaf 
when they could be taken, wliich has not yet been done; aad 
tliough the larger colonies submitted to this teniporaiy ine- 
quality of representation, ex))ecting it would much soonear 
have been rectified; it never was understood that by the re- 
solution above cited, a power was given to the smaller states 
to fix that inequality upon them forever, as those small statu 
have now attempted to do, by combining to vote for this irtk 
article, and thereby to deprive the larger states of their jart 

7 This since forms part of the 5ih article of the confedentiontsaan^ 
to by all the sUtes,, except Maryland, onjlhe 9th July, 1778; ami ^ 
ratified by the whole union, on the Ut Marpb, 1781, (the state of ^W' 
land acceding thereto.) 


rights acknowleged in the same resolution. Smaller states 
having given us in advance, this striking instance of the in- 
justice they are capable of, and of the possible effects of theb* 
combinationy is of itself a sufficient reason for our determine 

. ing not to put ourselves in their power, by agreeing to tbis 
article as it stands connected with those concerning the quo-* 
tas of each state, since being a majority of states in congress^ 
they may by the same means, at any time, deprive the larger 
states of any share in the disposition of our strength and 
wealth, and the management of oui^ commo»> interests. 

'^Bqt as the smaller colonies may object, that if the larger 
are allowed a number of votes in proportion to their im- 
portance, the smaller will then be equally in danger of be- 
ing overpowered and governed by them : we, not having the 
least desire of any indueace or power that is unjust, or une- 
qual, or disproportioned to the burthens we are to bear, do 
hereby offer our consent to the said Ifth ai'ticle as it now 
stands, provided the quotas to be contributed by the larger 
provinces shall be reduced to an equality with the smallest, 
in which case all, by oontributing equally, will have a right to 
equal votes. Not that we mean thereby to avoid granting ad- 
ditional aids, when tlie exigence of our common interests 
shall appear to us to make them proper and necessary^ but, 
leaving to the congress, with regard to such additional aids^ 
the right of making requisitions as enjoyed by our late kings, 
Mre would reserve to ourselves the right of judging of the pro- 
priety of these requisitions, or of refusing or complying with 
them in part, or in the whole, as to us shall seem best, and 

M modifying our grants with such conditions as we shall 
judge necessary, in like manner as our assemblies might for- 
merly do with regard to requisitions from the crown : for it 
appears to us just and reasonable, that we should retain the 
disposition of what strength we have, above the equal pro- 
portion contributed, as aforesaid, by our state to tlie common 
service, with every power necessary to apply the same, as 
occasioas may aride, for our particular security; this we 
lAean to do from this time forward^ unless we are allowed 


toted in congress, proportioned to the importance oF our 
gtate» as was originally intended* 

« Signed by order of the convisntion.^^ ^ 

Tboagb this protest was not acted tipon^ for tbt 
previously assigned by Dr. Franklin, it serves howeffr, to 
show his opinion and arguments in support of a rtry linper* 
tant qnestion of American legislation, and is. an adHtioiiil 
feature in his political mind. 

American paper-money beginning to fall iiitp disrqiutie, 
in 1776, and immediate supplies of arms and amlnunitioD 
for the use of the army being absolutely necessary, con- 
gress turned their attention towardS JBurope, and to France 
in particular, for the purpose of obtaining aids in money 
and military stores, as the only means of resisting the power 
of Great Britain, and preserving their newly-acquired inde- 

In the latter end of 1776, a commission was aj^infedfor 
this object; and Dr. Franklin, thougli then in his 7lst year, 
was considered, from his talents as a statesman, and reputi- 
tibn as a philosopher, the most suitable person to eflfect tke 
desired end, and was consequently nominated commissioner 
t)1enipotentiary to the court of France, in conjunction with 
Silas Deane and Arthur Lee, esquires: the former bad al* 
ready been sent to Europe, for the purpose of secretly obtain- 
ing and forwarding warlike stores, &c., and the other had 
been employed by congress as a private and co&fidentia} 
agent in England. 

Previous to Dr. Franklin's departure, ho conceived it 
Would be advisable, on many accounts, to be the bearer of pro- 
positions for peace with Great Britain; and with this view be 
drew op, and submitted to the secret committee of congress, 
the following paper. 


^ Sketch of Propositioiafor a Ptactf 1776. 
- There shall be a perpetual peace between Great Britain 
and the United States of America, on the following c<Hidi<» 

- Crreat Britain shall renovice and diflclaim all pretence of 
right or authority to govern in any of the United States of 

T6 prevent those occasions of misunderstanding which 
are apt to arise, where the territories of different powers bor* 
der on each other, through the bad conduct of frontier inha« 
bitanta on both sides, Britain shall cede to the United States 
the proTioces or colonies of Quebec, St. John's, Nova Scotia^ 
Bermuda, East and West Florida, and the Bahama Islands, 
with all their adjoining and intermediate territories now 
claioied by her. 

In return for this cession, the United States shall pay to' 

Great Britain the sum of . • sterling, in annual 

payments, that is to say • • per annum, for and 

during the term of years. 

And shall moreover grant a free trade to all British sub- 
jects throughout the United States and the ceded colonies, 
and shall guarantee to 6re%t Britain the possession of her 
islands in the West Indies. 

Motives for proposing a Peace at tlUs time. 

1, The having such prtipositions in charge, will by the law 
of nations be some protection to the comissionei^s or amba8«> 
aadors, if they should be taken. 

d, As the news of oar declared independence will tend to 
unite in Britain all parties against us; so our offering peace 
with commerce ami payments of money, will tend to divide 
them again : for peace is as necessary to them as to us: our 
commerce is wanted by their merchants and manufacturers, 
who will therefore incline to the accommodation, even though 
the monopoly is not continued, since it can be easily made 
appeBr» th^r share of our growing trade will soon be greater 


than the whole has been heretofiire. Then for the hnded 
interest, who wish an alhvtation of taxvs, it is demonstnUe 
by figures, that if wo should agree to* pay, suppose ten lul- 
lions in one hundred years, viz. one hundred thousand poaoda 
per annum for that term, it would, being faithfully emplojcd 
as a sinking fund, more- than |py oif all tlieir present oa*. 
tional debt. It Is besides a prevailing opinion in Eo^aod, 
' that tfiey mast in the nature of things, sooner or later lose 
the colonies, and many think they had better be witbont tlie 
government of them ; so that the pniposition will, on that ac- 
count, have more supporters and fewer opposers. 

3, As the having such propositions t6 make, or any powers 
to treat of peace, will furnish a pretence tor Benjamin Frank* 
lin's going to England, where he has many friends and ac- 
quaintance, particularly apaong the best writers and ablest 
speakers in both houses of parliament, he thinks he shall be 
able when there, if the terms are not accepted, to work sp 
such a division of sentiments in the nation, as greatly to 
weaken its exertions against the United States, and lessen 
its credit in foreign countries. 

4, The knowlege of there being powers given to the com- 
missioners to treat with England, may have some fSrct in 

' facilitating and expediting the proposed treaty with France. 

5, It is Worth our while to offer such a sum for the conn- 
tries to be ceded, since the vacant lands will in time sell for a 
great part of what we shall give, if not more; and if we arc 
to obtain them by conquest, after perhaps a long war, the; 

• wUI probably cost jis more titan that sum. It is absolnteiy 
necessary for us to have them for our own security; aa' 
though the sum may seem large to the present generation! 
in less (ban half the term, it will be to the whole United 
States, a mere trifle. 

It is uncertain to what extent this plan was adopted bf 
congress. The propositions were certainly not such as the 
Britbh ministry would have listened to a moment^ at that 


period of the revolutionary war, whativer they might have 
been disposed to have ilone in a more advanced state of it. 

It is possible, howewr, that this or some other proposal 
for peace with Great Britain may have been furnished to Dr. 
Franklin by the secret committee of congress, to serve him 
in some measure as a prote( tion in case of his capture at 
sea; of which tltere was at that time the most imminent 

Dr. Franklin set off on this important mission from Phi- 
ladelphia, Oct. 26, 1776, accompanied by two of his grand* 
children, William Temple Franklin, and Benjamin Franklin 
Bache: they slept at Chester that night, and the next morn- 
ing went by land to Marcus Hook, and embarked there that 
day» in the United States' sloop of war Repi*isai, mounting 
sixteen guns, and commanded by captain Wickes.' During 
the passage Dr. Franklin made daily experiments, by means 
of the thermometer, of the temperature of the sea-water^ as 
he had done on siinilar occasions, and with the same view 
of ascertaining the ship's being in or out of the gulph stream, 
and more or less within soundings. 

The sloop was frequently citased during the voyage by 
British cruisers, and several times prepared for action; but 
being a good sailer, and the captain having received orders, 
not nnnecessarily to risk an engagement» she as often escap- 
ed her pursuers* The crew did not always seem to like avoid- 
ing coming up with the vessels that were occasionally seen, 
as they were naturally desirous of getting some prize-money, 
on this account probably the captain indulged them on some oc- 
casions, when there was little likelihood of danger. An oppor- 
tunity of this kind presented itself on the 27th- of November, 
being then near the coast of France, though out of sound- 
ings* Several sail were seen about noon, and the sloop brought 
to, and took a brig from Bourdeaux, bound to Cork, (being 
Irish property) loaded with lumber and some wine. She bad 
left Bourdeaqx the day before. The captain found by the 
brig's reckonings that he was then only sixteen leagues from 
land. In the afternoon of the same day be came up with^ and 

376 MBMOIB8 (W 

took another brig» from Rochefort, belonging to HaH,1 
to Hamburgh, with brandy and flax-seed: eurij the ant 
morning land was in sight from the mast-head; it proved to 
be Belleisle; a pitot came on board, and the sloop wu 
brought to an anchor in the evening. On the 29tli sbe na 
into Quiberon Bay, where she continued till December ^ 
when finding the contrary winds likely to contimiff viuck 
prevented her entering the Loire, the captain procured afak- 
ing-boat to put Dr. Franklin and his grandsons on shore at 
Juray, about six leagues distant, where they were lamM ia 
the evening, Auray proved to be a wretched place. Nopesi* 
chaises to be hired, and obliged to send to FainiMforon^ 
which did not arrive till next day; when the party rrarM 
that town, late in the evening. Dr. Franklin, in tbelittle joa^ 
nal he kept, and from which the above details are takds 
adds: « The carriage was a. miserable one, with tired borBOi 
the evening dark, scarce a traveller but ourselves on the rmm^ 
and to make it more comforidUef the driver stopped aear a 
wood we were to pass through, to tell us that a gaa; if 
eighteen robbers infested that wood, who but two weeks ago 
bad robbed and murdered some travellers on that very spot'' 

The same journal contains the following remark* <* D** 
cember 6. On the road yesterday,'* (travelling to Naiit«)» 
^' we met six or seven country-women, incompanyfOnhors^ 
back and astride: they were all of fair white and red cosh 
plexions, but one among them was the fairest woman I ever 
beheld. Most of the men have good complexions, not 8war4f 
like those of the North of France, in which I remember tbat> 
except about MhcvOle^ I saw lew feir people.*' 

Arriving at Nantes on the rth December, a grand <!■■» 
was prepared on tl« occasion by some friends ef Ameritai 
at wliich Dr. Franklin was present, and in tke •firf**' 
vtfstii to meet a large party at tlie country seat of nwisK* 
Gruel, a short diatanre from town, where crowds rf ^'^^ 
came to complimetit him on his safe arrival, expresahiggiw 
Batiafaction, as they were warm friends to America, aad 
loped his beins in France would be of adfantagt to ^ 



American cause^ &c. &c. A magni&rent supper closed (be 

Being fnach Fatigiied and weakened bj the voyage and 
joamey^ Dr. Franklin was persuaded to remain -sooie time 
at M. Gruel's country house, where he was elegantly and 
commodiottsly lodged : his strength, indeed, was not equal to 
an immediate journey to Paris. During his stay at M. GruePs 
he was in hopes of living retired, but the house was almost 
always full of visiters; from whom, however, much useful in* 
formation was obtained respecting thestate of affairs at courts 
and the character of persons in power, &r. Dr. Franklin alao 
learnt with great satisfaction, that a supply had been obtain- 
ed from the French government, of two hundred brass fieU- 
pieces, thirty thousand firelocks, and some other military 
stores; which were then shipping for America, and would be 
convoyed by a ship of war. 

Dr. Franklin at that time did not assume any public cha- 
racter, thinking it prudent first to know whether the court was 
ready and willing to receive pMidy commissioners from the 
congress; and that he might neither embarrass the ministry 
en the one hand, nor subject himself and his colleagues to the 
hazard of a disgraceful refusal on the other, he dispatched an 
express to Mr. Deane, then in Paris, with the letters he had 
for him from the committee of congress, and a copy of their 
joint commission, that be might make the proper inquirieSf 
and give hiin the necessary information: meantime it wasge* 
rdly supposed at Nantes that Dr. Franklin was sent to nego- 
tiate, and that opinion appeared to give great pleasure. 

On the 15th December, Dr. Franklin left Nantes, and 
flhortly after arrived safely at Paris, where he continued to 
l^ile till the 7th January following, when he removed with 
his bmily to FStssy, (a village beautifully situated abont a 
league from the capital,) and took up his abode in a large and 
handsome boose, with extensive gardens, belonging to Mens. 
Le Ray de Chaomont, a great and useful friend to the Atte« 
rican cause : here Dr. Franklin continued during the whole 



of bis residence in France— bfing about eight yetn aad i 

The following extracts from letters written by him tooM 
of his intimate friends, shortly after his arrival in PariSf Uy 
show his sentiments relative to the state of AmericaD piitici 
at that period, and furnish some insight as to the natenof Ui 
Diission to France. 

To Dr. Ingenliau». 
— -— << I long labored in England with great zeal awluh 
cerity to prevent the breach that has happened, and which ii 
now BO wide, that no endeavors of mine can possibly heal it 
Tou know the treatment I met with from that impradeit 
court: but I keep a separate account of private injaricsi wUdi 
I may forgive; and I do not think it right to mix then with 
public affairs. Indeed there is no occasion for their aid to 
whet my resentment against a nation, that has bamtollrd^ 
fenceless towns in the midst of winter, has excited the 91- 
Tages to assassinate our innocent farmers with their mm 
and children, and our slaves to murder their masierB! it 
would therefore be deceiving you, if I sufiered yoa to n> 
main in the supposition you have taken up, that I aai (XMW 
p Europe to make peace: I am in fact ordered hither by the 
congress for a very different purpose; viz. to procore each 
aids from European powers, for enabling us to defend ov 
freedom and independence^ which it is certainly their intvrat 
iograVit; as by that means the great and rapidly growing 
trade of America will be open to them all, and not a mono- 
poly to Great Britain as heretofore: a monopoly, that if aheii 
suffered again to possess, will be such an increase of her 
strength by sea, and if she can reduce us again to sobnuBBioif 
she will have thereby so great an addition to her strong If 
land, as will, together, make her the.most formidable power 
the world, has yet seen ; and from her natural pride and iaeo- 
lence in prosperity, of all others the most intolerable." 

To the aamtm 

. ...—^mTOU desire to know my opinion of what will pro* 
kaUy be the end of this war; and whether our new establish- 
nents wfll not be thereby redaced again to deserts. I do not^ 
for my part^ apprehend roach danger of so great an evil to 
OS. I think we shall be able, with a little hdp, to defend our- 
selves, oar possessions* and onr liberties so long, that Eng* 
Lmd will be ruined by persisting in the wicked attempt to de- 
stroy tbem* I roast nevertheless regret that rutn, and wish 
that her injostice and tyranny had not deserved it: and I 
sometimes flatter royself that, old as I am, I may possibly 
<• live to see my country settled in peace and prosperity* when 
Britain shall make no more a formidable figure among the 
powers of Europe. 

«< Tott put me in mind of an apology for my conduct, ' 
which has been expected from me, in answer to the abuses 
thrown upon me before the privy coanciL It was partly writ- 
tM, but the affairs df pablic importance I have been ever 
dnce engaged in, prevente<l my finishing it The injuries 
too that my country lias suflTered, have absorbed private 
resentments, and made it appear trifling for an individual to 
trottble the world with his particular justification, when all 
his compatriots were stigmatized by the king and parliament 
as being in every respect the worst tf mankind/ I am obliged 
to you, however, for the friendly part you have always taken 
in the defence of my character; and it is indeed no small ar- 
gument in my favor, that those who have known me most 
and longest, still love me and trust me with their mostiropor- 
tsnt interests, of which my election into the congress by the 
unanimous voice of the assembly, or parliament of Pennsyl- 
vania, the day after my arrival from England, and my pre- 
sent mission hither by tlie congress itself, are instances in- 

Dr* Franklin was privately received with every demonstra- 
tton of regard and respect by the minister for foreign afi*airs. 

880 M£M01HS OF 

and moDsiear le compte de Yergennes; who assored Umtb 
other American commissionersy that they shoold personaUyea- 
JQj in France <• all the aecnrity and all the good oilctt wkkk 
atrangero could receive."^ 

A conviction of the advanti^^ to be deriTed from atoa- 
mercial iotercourse with AmeriGa, and a desire of vcakomf 
the British empire^ by dismembering it, indaced the Freak 
court secretly to give assistance in military stores to the Aae* 
ricanst a,nd to listen to proposals of an alliance. Bnttheyil 
first shewed rather a reluctance to the latter measuie, wUeli> 
however, by Dr. Franklin's address^ aided by a subeetMil 
important success attending the American arms, was erente- 
ally overcome. 

The American commissioners began privately to gmt let- 
ters of marque to a number of French Jmericam primUirh 
which haiTassed the English coasting trade^ intercept i 
great number of British merchant vessels, and took nuy 
prisoners. Lord Storraont, his Britannic majesty's amkaapi- 
dor atVersaiUea, when applied to by the American cooubIb- 
aioners relative to an exchange of those prisoners, hai^Wif 
and unficelingly gave tiiem for answer^ '« that he received m» 
letters from rebels, unless they were to petition bis isajestf^ 
pardon !!'' or words to that eflEbct. His lordship presented se* 
veral memorials to the French minister, complalniD^ of the 
equipment of American vessels in the ports of France, kriag* 
ing in of their prises, &c. and of the assistance France w« 
underhandedly afibrding the insurgents; demanding at te' 
same time a categorical answer respecting such conduct 

On this occasion count de Yergennes affected to renoi- 
strate with the American commissioners, and on the iM 
July, 1777 f wrote to them that they had exceeded the boa* 
limited at their first interview with him, which wereeipreflBify 
« That the navigation and commerce with the Am^ncutj 
should obtain all the facilities in France which werecomfaS- 

•"■TouteU surety ettous les agrtocnts que noufi y &»«»» ^'^"^ 
anx i(n»fera.** 

BEN JAMUT tRANKl^Vf^ 38 1 

Ue with the doe obenruce of her treaties #itfa Englaiid; 
that to these principles the king would religioody adhere*'** 

This remonstrance might also in some measure have been 
ialaenced by the very onfaTorable accounts latter^ reoeiTed 
from Americat and which bore a most uiqpromising aspect for 
tbe success of the American cause. In England it was gene« 
rdly thougJit, even by the friends of America, that her stmg* 
gie for independence was at an end, and that nothing wan 
left for her but unconditional submission. Doctor Fotiiei|^» 
a particular friend of Dr. Franl^Iin, and a well-wisher to 
America, in a letter to his nq^hew, Mr. John Chorley^ 
dated June, 1777, written with the view to its being commn* 
nicated to Dr. Franklin, (which it shortly after was,) thus 
expresses himself: 

M Should thy friend think proper to go to Passy, he may 
8%y to Dr. Franklin, that if he has enemies in this country, 
he has also friends; and must not forget these, because the 
former are ignorant and malicious, yet all-powerful. He will 
deubtless inform the doctor, that there remains not a doubt 
Ml tliis side the water, that American resisthnce is all at an 
end — that the shadow of congressional authority scarce ex* 
isto-^hat a general defection from that body Is Apparent--- 
that their troops desert by shoals — ^that tbe officers are dis*^ 
contented — that no new levies can be made^-4hat nothing can 
withstand the British forces, and prevent them from being 
masters of the whole continent; in short, that the war is at 
an end, and that nothing remains to be done, but to divide the 
country among the conquerors. This is the general language; 
and that neither France nor Spain will afford them any other 
than a kind of paralytic aid; enough to enable them to pro* 
tract a few months longer a miserable existence!'' 

* ** Que le navigation et comnerce Am^cans ^rouveroient toates lea 
&dliti^ en France, qui seroient compatibles avec Texacte obsenrance de 
•es traits avec rAngleterre; qull 6toit dans lesprincipes du roi de rem* 
piir religieusement.'* 


In the midst oF this supposed gloomy state of affairs in 
America, the news of the surrender of the British aniTy 
commanded by general Burgoyne, to that of the Amerkaas 
under general Gates, at Saratoga, on the 17th October, ITTT, 
arrived in France; and at the very moment when theFreiieh 
cabinet was as yet undecided in re.t^ard to tht* steps lo be 
adopted relative to the United States* This memond»1e evcnl 
immediately turned the scale, and fixed the French nation is 
their attachment to the infant republic. 

The news of the defeat and capture of this British gene- 
ral and his whole army, was received in France with as great 
demonstrations of joy, as if it had been a victory gained by 
their own arms. Dr. Franklin took advantage of this ctrcan- 
stance, and suggested to the French ministry, « that ibne 
was not a moment to be h^st, if they wished to secure the 
friendship of America, and detach her entirely from the mo- 
ther country.^ Urged by these considerations, and fearfid 
lest an accommodation might take place betw^n Great Bri- 
tain and her colonies, the court of France instantly deter- 
mined to declare its intentions, and accordingly on the 6th 
December, 1T77, monsieur Gerard, secretary to the council 
of state, repaired to the hotel of the American commiasioQ- 
ers, and informed them* by order of the king, « that after a 
long and mature deliberation upon their propositions, kia na- 
jesty had determined to recognize the independence of, and 
to enter into a treaty of commerce and alliance with, tlie 
United States of America | and that he would not only ac- 
kttowlege their independence, but actually support it with dl 
the means in his power: that perhaps he was about to engage 
himself in an expensive war upon their account, but that he 
did not expect to be reimbursed by them : in fine, the Ameri- 
cans were not to think that lie had entered into this resoln- 
tion solely with a view of serving them, since independently 
of his real attachment to them and their cause, it was evi- 
dently the interest of France to diminish the power of En|;- 
land, by severing her colonies from her." 

BE97AMIir nUHKIiIir. SM 

tn consequence of tbU amicable and frank decIaratioQ 
treaties were soon after entered upon with monsieur Gerard^ 
who^ on the 30th of January » 177S, had received two distinct 
commissions from the king for that purpose: and on the 6th 
day of February following^ a treaty of amity and commerce, 
and another of alliance eventual and defensive, between his 
ttost Christian majesty and the thirteen United States of 
North America, were concluded and signed at Paris by the 
i«afective plenipotentiaries. 

This forms a memorable epoch in the political life of Dr. 
Franklin, as well as in the annals of the United States, be* 
cause it was in a great measure owing to the aid derived from 
this powerful alliance, that the American colonies were ena- 
bled to resist the mother country, and eventually to establish 
tbeir independence. 

It was mutually agreed that these treaties should be kept se- 
cret till the ratifications were exchanged; but some time after, 
accounts having been received of tho intention of the English 
ministry to send lord Carlisle, Mr. W. Eden, and governor 
Johnstone as additional commissioners to America, to be joined 
to the commanders-in-chief of the British land and sea forces 
there, with full powers to treat, settle, and agree on terms, even 
with congress, but subject to the confirmation of parliament; 
the French government, with the view to counteract any fa- 
Torable result to Great Britain from this project, immediately 
instructed their ambassador at St James's (the marquis de 
Noailles) to communicate officially to the English govern- 
ment, that tlie abovementioned treaties had been concluded 
and signed. On this the British cabinet instantly dispatched 
instructions to lord Stormont, to withdraw from the court of 
France, without taking leave; and this having been intima- 
ted to the marquis de Noailles, be left England about the 
same time. 

Tliese cireumstancesy however, did not prevent the new 
British commissioners 'from proceeding to America; but their 
presence there was of no avail, notwithstanding every art 
and deception was made use of by them to effect their pur* 

^M MUtona ov 

pov. Governor Johastoney in particdar liad puUidy isbnH 
that. Dr. FrankUn^ had qppravttl €f the pr^fomHom tkem^ 
mtMiaaers Aad carriMi over wtt/i Uem. This wm an abnUB 
fabehood^ of which Dr. Franklin^ as soon aa appriaed d it^ 
expressed his indignation to the president of the stete rf 
Pennsylvania^ in his letter dated Passy, March 19, 17M.* 

Hostilities now cdmnienced between Great Britein ail 
France; and monsieor Cterard was sent by his noBtCtm- 
tian majesty as envoy to the new States of America. Vk 
American commissionerd plenipotentiary were ioMMdali|]r 
presented at pourt in their public cliaractery with theiec» 
tomed forms, and were very graciously received by the Uf 
and all the ro.\ al family. 

A French historian, M. HiUiord D'Auberleail, tb« m* 
tices Dr. Franklin^ first aj^aranoe at the coait af V«* 

«< Dr. Franklin, at length, had an Interview with hh nod 
Christian majesty; he was presented to him, in thegajkiy 
of Versailles, by the comte de Verge nnes, minisler ibr ii- 
reign affiurs. On this occasion, he was accompanied aid U- 
lowed by a great number of Americans^ and individtth rf 
fbre^ states, who were collected together by cariflsitj»Bs 
age» his venerable iqipearance, the simplicity of his ditaa la 
such on occasion, every thing that was either singular or !•- 
spectaUe in the life of this American, contributed ta a^- 
Bient the public attention. Clapping of hands, and a varied 
of other demonstrations of joy, announced that wantb if 
affection, of which the French are more susceptible tbuaif 
other pec^e, and of which their politeness and civility aag- 
«ien(8 the charm to him who is the object of it. 

«« His majesty addressed him as Ibllows: 

** < Too may assure the United States of Americs of wf 
friendship; I beg leave also to observe, that I am excoediicif 
satisfied In particular with your own conduct, during 7^ 

• See Vol. VI. of page 385, thU e&»n. 



nsideiice in my kingdom/ When the ifew ambassador, after 
ttb wdience, crossed the court, in order to repair to the of* 
ice of the minister of foreign affairs, the multitude waited 
tut liim in the passage, and bailed him with their acclama* 

Dr FrantJin was undoubtedly the fittest person that could 
have been found for rendering essential services to tlie Uni« 
tod States at tlie court of France. He was well known as s 
philosopher throughout all Europe, and his character was 
bdd in tiie highest estimation. In France he was received 
with the greatest marks of respect by all the literary cbarac- 
tors; and this was extended amongst all classes of men, and 
particolarly at the court His {lersonal influence was hence 
very considerable. To the effects of tiiis were added those of 
various writings which he published, tending to establish tbe 
credit and character of the United States; and to his exer- 
tions in this way, may in no small degree be ascribed, not 
only tbe free gifts obtained from the French government, but 
also the loans negotiated in Holland, which greatly contri- 
boled to bring the war to a favorable conckislon, and the es- 
tiAlinhnient of American independence. 

During the progress of these transactions at the court of 
France^ Dr. Franklin had received from congress their com- 
mission to negotiate a treaty of friendship and commerce with 
the court of Spain. On this occasion he waited on the count 
d'Aranda, the Spanish ambassador at Paris, and left with 
him a copy of his commission; and some time after address- 
ed to him the following letter. 

To his BaxeUtneg the Count d^J^andOf ^. ^e. 

Sm, Passy, JlprU 7, 1777. 

I USFT in your excellency's hands, to be communi- 
cated, if you jdease, to your court, a duplicate of the commis- 
sion fWHB the congress, appointing me to go to Spain as their 
mimster plenipotentiary. But as I understand, fliat the receiv- 
ing such IT minister is not at present thought convenient, and 
I am sure the congress would ha^ nothing done that might 

VOL. I. 3D 

5S0 M&liDllUI Ot 

incommode in the leAt a court they so much respect, I ( 
tiierefore postpone that journey till circurastances may i 
more saitable. In the mean time, I beg leave to lay befim his 
Catholic majesty, through the hands of yoor exceUcacy, tke 
propositions contained in a resolution of congress, dated Dec 
SO, 1776, viz.: 

<< That if his Catholic majesty will join with the trutai 
states in a war against Great Britain, they will asrist la re^ 
dttcing to the possession of Spain the town and harbor «l 
Pensacola; provided the inhabitants of the United States shil 
have the free navigation of the Mississippi, and the ise of 
the harbor of Pensacola; and will, (provided it shall be tros 
that his Portuguese majesty has insultingly expelled the ves- 
sels of these states from his ports, or has confiscated any i 
vessels), declare war against the said king, if that 
shall be agreeable to, and supported by, the courts of Fraaee 
and Spain." 

It is understood that the strictest union subsists betwea 
those two courts; and in case Spain and France should Umk 
fit to attempt the conquest of the English sugar islaadsf the 
congress have further proposed to furnish provisions to the 
amount of two millions of dollars, and to join the fleet eei- 
ployed on the occasion, with six frigates of not less tiuui 
twenty-four guns each, manned and fitted for service; end to 
render any other assistance which may be in their powers ss 
becomes good allies; without desiring for themselves flie poe- 
session of any of the said islands. 

These propositions are subject to discussion, and torecdve 
such modification as may be found proper. 

With great Inspect, I have the honor to be, your exocile»- 
cy's most obedient and most humble servant, 


This negotiation was not carried further at the tfane^ aad 
subsequently Mr. Jay was sent by congress as their qieciel 
minister to the court of Spain; were his patience and bMSxj 
were equally displayed to Ms own credit, and the intereet of 
his countiTs which he ever had at heart 

We must now revert to some less important circumflftances 
that occurred about this time, and which have been omitted 
in the precise order of their dates, in order not to interrupt 
Hie account of transactions of greater moment. 

An incident, though trifling of itself, yet as relating to a 
great personage, and as connected with Dr. Franklin's me- 
moirs, ought not to be omitted. 

At the time of the visit to Paris of the emperor Joseph 
n.^ brother to the queen of France, (then travelling under 
the title of count de Falkenstein)^ Dr. Franklin received the 
following note from the envoy of the grand duke of Tuscany, 
resident at Paris. 

Ji Monsieur le Docteur FraTiklin.^ 
L'ABBE NICCOLI prie monsieur Franklin de lui 
faire I'honneur de venir dejeuner chez lui Mercredi matin, 
£8 de ce mois, d 9 heures. 11 lui donnera une bonne tasse de 
cbocolat. II Passure de son respect. 

Jhi petit Luxembourg, Lmidi^ 36 Mai, 1777. 

To this note, found amonj? Dr. Franklin's papers, is added 
the following memorandum in his hand-writing. 

<< The above is from the abbe Niccoli, minister of the 
grand duke of Tuscany. The intention of it was, to give the 
emperor an opportunity of an interview with me, that should 
appear accidental. Monsieur Turgpt and the abb6 were there 
to be present, and by their knowlege of what passed, to pre- 
vent or contradict false reports. The emperor did not appear, 
and tlie abb6 Niccoli since tells me, that the number of other 


To Dr. Franklin, 

THE ftbb^ Niccoli begs Dr. Franklin will do him the honor to come 

And take breakfast with him on Wednesday morning, 28th of this months 

at aine o'clock. He will give him a fine cup of chocolate, lie assures him 

of his respect 

Little Luxembourg, Monday^ 26M Mmfy 1777. 

3S8 MEMOIRS ei* 

persons who occasionallj visited blm (iiat iiianiuig» of wbidi 
the emperor was informed, prevented his coming; tei at 
twdre, understanding they were gone^ he came; hot I ww 
gone also.'' 

The cause of America becoming so popular in France, and 
the number of officers oat of employ being so considerabk* 
Br. Franklin was extremely harrassed by the numeroos ap- 
plications for service in the armies of the United States. The 
following letter to a friend is so fully and strongly descrip- 
tive of his sentiments and feelings on this sabject, and in 
other respects so entertaining, that we here insert it. 

To * * *. 

Ftumf^ . 

YOU know, my dear friend, that I am not capakie of 
rdnsing yon any thing in my power, which would be a nd 
kindness to you or any friend of yours; but when I an oer^ 
tain that what you request would be directly the contrary, I 
onght to refuse it. I know that officers going to Aoierica far 
employment will probably be disappointed; that our anues 
are full, that there are a number of expectants unemployed 
and starving for want of subsistence, that my recomnwnda- 
tion will not make vacancies, nor can it fill them, to the pro* 
judice of those who have a better claim; that some of tiiosa 
officera 1 have been prevailed on to recommend, have by their 
conduct given no favorable impression of my judgment ia aii- 
Iltary merit; and then the voyage is long, the passage vety 
expensive, and the hazard of being taken and imprisoned by 
the English, very considerable. If, after all,>]0 place can be 
fonnd affording a livelihood for the gentleman, he will per* 
baps be distressed in a strange country, and ready to Uas- 
pheme his friendswho by their solicitations procured for iuai 
so unhappy a situation. Permit me to mention to you, thalia 
my opinion the natural . complaisance of this conntiy oAai 
carries people too far in the article of recommendoHons. Tea 
give them with too much facility to persons of whose leal 
characters you know nothing, and sometimes at the requert 

of othen of whom you know as little. Frequently, if a man 
has no uaefal talents, is good for nothing, and burthensome 
to bis relations, or is indiscreet, profligate, and extravagant, 
they are glad to get rid of him by sending him to the other 
end of the world; and for that purpose scruple not to recom- 
mend him to those they wish should recommend him to others, 
'as **unb<m sujeU-^plein de mHiUf'* &c« &c. In consequence 
of my crediting such recommendations, my own are out of 
credit, and I cannot adviie any body to have the least depen- 
dence on them. If, after knowing this, you persist in desir- 
ing my recommendation for this person, who is known nei- 
ther to me nor to you, I will give it,^ though, as I said before, 
I ought to refuse it. 

These applications are my perpetual torment People will 
believe (notwithstanding my repeated declarations to the con- 
trary), that I am sent hither to engage officers. — ^In troth 1 
never had any such orders. It was never so much as inti- 
mated to me that it would be agreeable to my constitaents. 1 
have even received for what I have done of the kind, not iu- 

* For cases of this kind, and where it was absolutely impossible to re- 
ftise. Dr. Franklin drew up the foUowhig as a model for such letters of 
reooiiiiiiendation» and actually employed it in some instancesi to shame 
the penona making such indiscreet applications ; and to endeavor in some 
measure to put a stop to them. 

Mtdei rf a Lstter'^f Becanmundaiion •f a person you are wtacquainted vith. 

SiB, Paris, AprU % 1777. 

THB bearer of this, who is going to America^ presses me to give him 
a letter of recommendation, though I know nothing of him, not even his 
name. This may seem extraordinary, hut I asmre you it is not uncommon 
here. Sometimes, indeed, one unknown person brings another equally 
unknown to recommend him ; and sometimes they recommend one ano- 
ther! As to this gentleman, I must refer you to himself for his character 
and merits, with wluch he is certainly better acquainted than I can pos- 
liUy be; I recommend Mm however to those civilities which evety straa- 
ger, of whom one knows no harm, has a right to, and I request you wiU 
do him all the good offices and show him all the favor that, on further 
acquaintance, you shall find him to deserve* 

I have the honor to be, &c» 


deal an absolute rebuke, but some pretty strmig hnts af tf0> 
iq^robation. Not a day passes in which I lia?e not a DtnlNr 
of soliciting visits, besides letters. K I could gratify aB or 
any of tliem it would bt^a pleasure. 1 might indeed givetbea 
the recommendation, and the promises they desire, aBdtlNr»- 
by please them for the present; but when the certain dinp- 
pointment of the expectations with which they will m okiti- 
aately flatter themselves sliall arrive, they must curse m fit 
complying with their mad requests, «nd not undeceivingtkM; 
and will become so many enemies to our cause and counbT* 
Tou can have no conception how I am harrassed. AD mf 
friends are sought out and teazed to teazene. Qmid* 
ficers of all ranks in all departments, ladies great uid SBili 
besides professed solicitors, worry me from moming to aqikt 
The noise of every coach now that enters my court, tttiifca 
me. I am afraid to accept an invitation to dine abro8d,M( 
almost sure of meeting with some oflker or idBcer's rriorii 
who as soon as I am put in good humar by a ^ass or tvorf 
champaigne, begins bis attack upon me. Luckily 1 do lot of- 
ten ill my sleep dream of these vexatious sitaationSf vl 
stipuld be afraid of what are now my only hours of coali|ii 
If therefore you have the least remaining kindness for ntiif 
you would not help to drive me out of France, for GftA%tttoi 
my dear friend, let this your twenty-third applkatiwiliejwr 
last. Yours, te. B. FRANKtW* 

The following letter, on the same subject, was addnssw 
by Dr. Franklin to an impertinent and unknown applinnt; 
and contains some wlioiesome advice in a tart and pitiiy^'^* 

Sir, Passy, near Paris, Jpril 6, 1777* 

I HAVE just been honored with a letter from yoUi *^ 
the 26th past, in which you express yourself as astotasim 
and appear to be angry that you have no answer to a letter 
you wrote me of the 11th of December, which you are 3tf0 
was delivered to me. 

In exculpation of myself, I assure yon that I nerer rcccrf- 
ed any letter from you of this date. And indeed, being tbea 

BEHJAiiiiir nusKLur. 391 . 

tat fosr days landed at Nantes, I tliink 70a could scarce faave 
heard so soon of my being in Europe. 

But I received one from you of the 8th of January, which 
I own I did not answer^ It may displease you if I give you 
the reason^ but as it may be of use to you in your future 
correspondenceSf I Inrill hazard that for a gentleman to whom 
I feel myself obliged, as an American, on account of bis good 
will to our cause* 

Whoever writes to a stranger should observe tliree points; 
1, That what he proposes be practicable. 2, His propositions 
should be made in eiqilicit terms, so as to be easily under- 
stood. 3, What he desires should be in itself reasonable. 
Hereby be will give a favorable impression of his under* 
standing, and create a desire of further acquaintance. Now 
it happened that you were negligent in all these points: for 
first, you desired to have means procured for you of taking 
a voyage to America << woec 8ureU;^ which is not possiUet 
as the dangers of the sea subsist always, and at present there 
is the additional danger of being taken by the English. Tiien 
70U desire that this may be «< sans trop grandes dipenses,^* 
which is not intelligible enough to be answered, because, not 
knowing your ability of bearing expenses, one cannot judge 
what may be trop grandes. Lastly, you desire letters of ad« 
dress to the congress and to general Washington; which it 
is not reasonable to ask of one who knows no more of you 
than that your name is Lith, and that you live at Bat- 


In your last, you also express yourself in vague terms 
when you desire to be informed whether you may expect 
•*ifAr€ rt^ dfunt manure conrotnaiU^ in our troops? As it 
is impossible to know what your ideas are of the nuatUre 
conrenaNe, how can one answer this? And then you demand^ 
whether I will support you by my authority in giving you 
letters of recommendation? I doubt not your being a man of 
nerit; and knowing it yourself, you may forget that it is not 
known to every body; but reflect a moment, sir, and you will 
be convinced, that if I were to practise giving letters of re- 


commendation to persons of whose character I knew no note 
than I do of yours^ my recommendations would soon be of 
no aathority at all. 

I thank yoUf however^ for your kind desire of being 8e^ 
viceable to my countrymen; and I wish in return that I coold 
be of serTice to you in the scheme you have formed of gobg 
to America. But numbers of experienced officers here hin 
offered to go over and join our army^ and I could give then 
no encouragement^ because I have no orders for that for- 
poscy and I know it is extremely difficult to ^acetbeoidiai 
they come tliere. I cannot but thinks therefore^ that it is M 
for you not to make so longf so expensive, and so haKirdons 
a voyage, but to take the advice of your friends, and stojf it 

I have the honor to be, sir, &c. B. FRANKLIN. 

Before we return to political occurrences, as coDnectod 
with the memoirs of Dr. Franklin, we have to notice ai it- 
tempt that was made in 1777, by a ^-^disattt Englisb |ihiio- 
sopher, to deti*act, if not to annul, the great discoTCiTof 
the American philosopher, for the protection of boiidiDgi 
and ships from the effects of lightning. Mr* B. Wil8on»FJL8. 
who had formerly, at a meeting of the Royal Socict]r,iir»* 
tested unsuccessfully against the pointed conductors of Frank* 
lin, now endeavored by certain experiments publkly exhibit* 
ed at the Pantheon, to prove the superior advantage otkmk 
to points, or the greater safety to be derived from bfamt to 
sharp lightning conductors* These experiments, it is saidt 
were much countenanced by the king, who attended thcDf 
with some of the royal family; but their deception wasaooi 
detected, as appears by the following article on the aobjcc^ 
in the London Evening Post of the I6th Sept. 1777. 

«« Mondayi Mr. B. Wilson repeated his experiments at Ike 
Pantheon, before several fellows of the Royal Soctefy» and 
other persons. Lord Viscount Mahon,« F. R. S.» being pre* 
sent, had a great dispute with Mr. Wilson concerning bis ex- 

? Afterwiaids earl Stanhope^ since deceased. 


{nrioMotSy and Bbowed bim tkat be was wroDg in botb his 
aasertioas; Ist, that knobs are bettor than jKrittfo, and sdly, thai 
kfm €ondmeior$ are better than A^ ane$. His lordship proTed 
both those asseitions to be /abf , and showed also that Mr. 
WOsoB bad entirdy misunderstoodf and* bad consequently 
nArepmetiUd the phlh)SophicaI opinions of Dr. Franklin. ' 
Lord Mahon repeated several experiments of his own to 
piOTe bis assertions, and by invariably succeeding in thenty 
at the same time that those of Mr. Wilson failed repeatedly^ 
his lordship proved this to den^onstrationy and by so doing 
gave great satisfaction to the best informed persons present* 
Mr. Wilsott went to the other end Jt the room, as if to avoid 
seeing lord Mahon's experiments* He afterwards said that 
he bad not chai^ged his f^nbms^ and wonld publish his own 
bypothens; upon which lord Mahon told Mr. Wilson, in a 
laost candid and gentleman-like manner^ that he was very 
lorry to be obliged to differ in opinion from him, bat that as 
the fnesfion aboot amductorsfor lightning was of so great ha-^ 
portence to this country, and to society in geoeral, that if 
Mr. Wilson should jmNtiA an erroneeos opinion iqpon this 
subject, that he would also pledge himself to the public tore- 
fiae him inprint:^ 

A few days after, Mr. Wilson's pretended improvement^ 
feubded on deceptive ezperimenis, was completely destroyed 
by the discovery and exposure of the tricks he had employed 
b> obtain a partial success. This took place on the Sd October, 
when several members of tlie Royal Society, and other gentle- 
men conversant in electricity, went to see him repeat his ez- 
psrteents; among these were Mr. Henly Mid Mn Naime,* 
both Mlows of the Royal Society, wlio fully detected and ex- 
posed the frauds and deceptions employed by Wilson, for es- 
tablishing his own philosophical reputation, on the ruins of 
that of Dr. Franklin. 

Another member of the Royal Society (and of most of the 
Itamed sodcfties of Europe) the ingenious Dr. Ingenhausz, 
who had assisted at these experiments, and in the detection of 
the fraud, afterwards wrote a very vehement letter on the sub- 

TOL. I. S E 

394 HSMonui ov 

ject, addressed to a friend on the continent^ giving a foil ac- 
count of what he calte «'(a charlatanerie dujimte Wibn 
d^elfcJ^ The letter is too long and violent (or inaerCioii IwR} 
it concludes thus. 

-i^^.— M Voiia done toute la tracasserie de Wilson expaa6e i 
la connoissance dti public; montnz ceci i notre amif [Dr. 
Franklin] et t4rbez de le rendre public- pour le biea gfiadnL 
^ais ce qu'il j a de plus di-6le» c^est qu'^a assart que ks 
pondttcteurs du palais de la reine i Buckingham hoose^ oat 
6t6 abattu^ drpuis que IB roi a vu lea experiences de IFil* 
3on ! !^ A present que la charlatanerie et la mauvaifle fai 4e ee 
coquin se trouve d^cel^e^ft reconnuc, on voudra pallkr oefte 
absurdity; et quoique Wilson devi-oit 6tre puni pourairatf 
tromp6 et impost au roi, peut etre t&chera-t-on de le 8oairair» 
comme un vrai Don Quixote, qui a attaqu^ k pbikM)^ 
Atniricain, .de m^me que les h^ros militaires qui attaqaoit 
eon pays; (et qui probiiblement n'auront pas pitis de aaocte) 
et qu'il sera ^galement recompense par une nation diqiea»"^ 

This letter being communicated to Dr. Franklin, and Us 
opinion asked with respect to the propriety of pnbMdiing it 
in Paris, he thus replied. 

'This was a fact; and they have never since been re-established, not- 

' withstanding^ the condemnation of the pretended improTemcnt by tiie 

Royal Society, in their Reports in favor of pointed conductors, and Ibdr 

being consequently generally employed for the protection of tbe povdcr 

magaxines throughout the country. 

' s Behold at last the dirty tricks of Wilson are made manifest 

to the world : shew this to our friend, (Dr. Franklin) and prermil upon 
him to make it more generally known for the public benefit But ^allt 
ipore amusing than all is as I am assured, tl^it one of the coadnctQis 
at the queen's palace at Buckingham house^ has bee» stricken down faj 
lightning, since the king has seen the experiments of Wilson! Nov that 
the quackery and deception of this rascal are exploded and notorioob 
they are seeking to escape the derision which they have merited, by 
saying that Wilson ought to be punished for having imposed upon and 
deceived the king, notwithstanding he Wks sustained like a genuine don 
Quizotte, in his attacks on the philosophical American; as they vpbold 
the military heroes who attack his country (and who will probablj meet 
a similar fate) and who are likely to meet a similar recompense from a 
duped nation. 

BEirJAMlDf mAHKLIN. 395 

« Sir, Pas9yf Oct. 4, 177T* 

Ml AM much obliged by jour commutiiration of the let* 
tor inuii Engiaod. I am of your opinion, that it is not pro- 
per for publication here. Oar friend's expressions concem« 
ing Mr. Wilson, will be thought too angry to be made use of 
by one philosopher when speaking of another, and on a plii« 
tosophical- question. He seems as m\ich heated about this one 
pojtti, as the Jansenists and Molinists were about the five. As 
to my writing any thing on the subject, which you seem to. 
desire, I tbink it not necessary, especially as I have nothing 
to add to what I have already said upon it in a paper read 
to the committee,^ who ordered the conductors at Furfleet; 
which paper is printed in the last French edition of my writ* 
ings. I have never entered into any. controversy in defence 
of my philosophical opinions; I leave them to take their 
Chance in the work). If they are rights truth and experience 
will support them; if wrongs they ought to be refuted and 
rejected* Disputes are apt to sour one's temper, and disturb 
one's quiet. 1 have no private interest in the reception of my 
inventions by the world, having never made nor proposed to 
make, fhe least profit by any of them. The king's changing 
his pointed conductors for Hunt ones, is therefore a matter of 
small importance to me. If I had a wish about it, it would be 
that he had rejected them altogether as inefifrctual. For it is 
only since he thought himself and family safe from the thun- 
der of heaven, that he dared to use his own thunder in de* 
straying his innocent subjects."* 

^ Beport on Lightning Ck^nductora for the powder magazines at Pur* 
ileet» drawn up by Dr. Franklin, August 21, 1772. 

*Thc foregoing circumstances, united with the then state of the Bri- 
tish nation, gave rise to the foHowing epigram, which possess more than 
a common share of point. 

"While yon, great GEORGE! for safety hunt. 
And sharp conductors change for blunt. 

The empire's out of joint. 
FRANKLIN a wiser coyrse pursues; 
And all your thunder fearless views, 
By sticking to-^the point.'' 


Owring the moiitlis oT March, April, and July, 177S| n- 
rioiis schemes were fatten apon by the English oiialBtij,pri- 
wmMj to soand Dr. Franklin an the subject of pnoo y^ 
Aoierica. The correspondents er agents emp^yed by thai 
M this occasion, were principally, Mr« Hatfam, WiUtta Pd* 
tettf^, and David Hartley, esqoires; the two lattor meatoi 
of parMaaaient. A full accoant of these at^usplB, sad dbl 
that took place at subseqaent periods of the waiv witk tti 
Tsew to indnce America to abandon her aiKance iriliiFnNC% 
or fa> treat for peace on terms short of her mdqmdfesee^* 
of the formal ackaowlegement of it by Great Britsio; l(C^ 
thar with aH the letters, memorials, and dtphwatte^oeoMiti 
eddiibited on the occasion, will be fenad ia the Pttivm Omh 


The alliance with Fraw:e was considered in Ameiici, vft 
pledge of the safety and liberty of the country* The iiawfi- 
ate fitiit of it was the powerful aid sent thitberby Fiasc^ii 
the sqaadron of the count d'Estuog, conaistii^ tf diM 
ships of the line, six frigates, and conaiderablelaDd faM 
iVmoas ea itw iqpaHurej Dr. FtwOHn fmi fitnMd tb 
French government with a plan for surprising ih$ BrUuhpd 
cad army then in the Delaware f and count d'Estaiag wss A- 

' rected to execute this important ei^rprise, Abetterchoioed 
a cemmander codd not have been made; he united aacoomu 
ardor and intrepidity, great nulitai^ kaowk|^ YigilaBce,aai 
circumq^taon, a quick decision, and a perfect coomsld 
himself in the most trying moments* 

The entei9H*ise would in all lurobability bavepror«diK» 
cessM, had it not been for an miesai^led series ef baira- 
ther and contrary winds. 

The connt took his departure from Toulon the ISth Aprils 
1778. In the Mediterranean he had to encoonter witbarii 
contrary winds, thi^ it was not in his power to pantke 
straits of Gibraltar tiH the mh May. Tim odms and l«U 
winds that afterwards attended him on ilhe ocean, prefeotrf 
the arrival of his fleet at the mouth of the ri?er Delaware 

before the 7th July. In consequence of these unforeseeB ob- 

a£NJAMIir EB4NKL1N. 697 

stades, the Freacb ftdmral arriTcd too laite» for the English 
9tmj had evacuated Philadelphia after tbw defeat at Mon- 
laovlby and the fleet was then riding in perfect safety at San- 

Bat fleets and amiies were not the only support to the Aaie* 
man cause, derived from the alliance witb France^ thfough 
the inflnence of Dr. FranUin; for military stores and laise 
sans of money were placed at his disposal hy the French 
ipfernmeiitf in consequence of hie representations and pi«9* 
siQg solicitations. These timely succors were of inflnito nse^ 
and greatly assisted America in sustaining her indepen- 
dence. By means of the pecuniary advances, which were 
cUefly gifts, Dr. Franklin was enabled for several years to 
honor bills drawn- from America to a large amount, and to 
pay the interest of a loan the congress bad eflfected, on the 
express stipulation of the interest being paid in cash, in Eki- 
ni(pe. He also paid the salaries of all the American ministers 
or agents employed in Europe, and gave considerable assis- 
tance to the American prisoners in England, and to those 
who escaped or were exchanged, to aid tlieir return to the 
United States. 

In Jnnei, 177M, Dr. FranUin's old friend* Mr. Huttcm, so* 
cnetairy to the Mot*af ian society, applied to litm for a protec- 
tion against American cruisers, for a vessel the society annu- 
ally dispatched to tlieir missionaries on the coast of Labra- 
dor: this Dr. Franklin* with his usual humanity, readily ac- 
^uiesoed in ; and immediately forwarded to Mr. Button a 
paBB,>^ whteh he afterwards annually renewed during the war: 
the present was accompanied by the following note. 

^ To aU captains and commanders of ipcssab of war, privateers and let- 
teis of muqa/tf belonging to the United States of America. 
OBir¥LBM»ir^-—11ie religious society commonly called the Morai^an 
Bretbren, lurring established a mission on the coast of ^brador, for the 
eeoTersionof the savages there to- the Christian reUgion^ which has alrea- 
dy had very good effects in turning them from their antient practices of 
surprising, plundering, and murdering such white people, Americans and 
Europeans, as, for the purposes of trade «r fishery, happened to come cm 

398 UftHUUlB €» 

-To Mr. HuUon, London. 
MT dear old friend has here the paper he deairid.-i^lB 
'have had a marble monamcnt made at Paris for the hnie 
^^eneral Montgomery^ which is gone to America. If itiboii 
fall into the hands of any of your cruisers, I expect yoivfl 
exert yourself target it r(*stored to us, becauae I kmii (k 
generosity of your temper, which likes to do bandsooM thiapi 
as well as to make returns. Ton see we. are onwilliiigto ni 
the hMpUali we hope your people will be found as amie b 
pillaging the dtad. Adieu. Yours^ ^ B.FRANKLIH. 
PassyJuneiSt 1778. 

With the same wonted philanthn>py, and with a view b 
the advancement of science, natural history, and nangatioib 
Dr. Franklin, shoKly after, as minister plenipotentiarjfnn 
the United States of America, issued a protection for captaii 
Cooke, his vessel and people, against all American crfum! 

Dr. Kippis, a distinguished literary character, who pak" 
lished a Biographical Dictionary, had asserted, in kb lib 
of captain Cooke, upon what he deemed authority, tiiit Dr. 
Franklin's orders, as above, were instantly reversed, andM 

that coast; and perauading them to lead a life of honett tndiutry, ladto 
treat atrang^wa With httmaaity and kindneaa : and it being neoentfyfr 
the support of this useful miasion^ that a aoiall vessel should go thifttf 
evety year to furnish supplies and necessaries for the missionarief «A 

their donverts; which vessel for the present year is a of ibort 

seventy-five tons, called the , whereof is master capUin 

This is to request you, that if the said vessel should happeatofiUitf* 
your hands, you would not suffer her to be plundered* or hindered isbr 
voyage, but on the contrary afford her any aaaistaoce she may ftand ii 
need of. Wherein I am confident your conduct wiH be approfed bytb 
congress and your ownera. 

Given at Passy, near Paris, this .... day of 

.Mbiirt«r Plemp^tenUanffim the W 
iSeal) Statei^ America, at tie C9urtrffrt''^ 

P. S. The same request ia respectfully made to the commindos rf 
armed vessels belonging to France and Spain, friends of the said Vtiid 
States. B. FBANOW- 

t See VoL V. of this edition, page 338. 


it was directed by congress* to seize captain Cooke» if an op« 
portanity of doing it occvrred: but Dr. Kippis finding that 
the information he had published was false, addressed a letter 
to tbe editor of the Crentleroan's Magazine, in September, 
17S>5f and therein publicly acl&nowleged his mistake. Indeed 
tbe magnanimous proceeding oL Dr. Franklin in writing the 
passport was so well known in England, and the sentiments 
it manifested so much approved by the British government 
Itself, that, when Cooke's Voyage was printed, the admiralty 
board sent a copy of the work, in three volumes quarto, to 
Dr. Franklin, accompanied with the elegant collection of 
plates, and a very polite letter from lord Howe, signifying, 
that the present was made with the king's express approba- 
tion: and the Royal Society having, in 'honor of that illustri* 
008 navigator, one of their members, struck some gold me- 
dals, to be distributed among his friends and the friends of 
Us voyage; one of these medals was also sent to Dr. Frank- 
Ko, by order of tiie society, together with a letter from their 
'president, sir Joseph Banks, expressing likewise, that it was 
sent with the approbation of the king. 

Another opportunity occurred some time after, for Dr. 
Franklin to give an additional proof of his benevolence; of 
which be availed himself, in granting a similar protection to 
a vessel sent with provisions and clotbing,r as a charitable 
donation from the citizens of Dublin, to certain sufferers in 
the West Indies. 

* In short. Dr. Franklin through life, let no opportunity es- 
cape bim, either in a public or private situation, in which, by 
any act of bis, he could be useful to his fellow creatures, 
whether friends or enemies. 

No one who did not witness it, can conceive how much his 
reputation as a philosopher, and his situation as American 
ttinister, subjected bim to the applications of projectors, 
flpecolators, and adventurers of all description^. The follow- 
faig memorandums of only one day's annoyance of this na* 
tare, taken from a little journal he kept, may tend to give 
some idea of it. 

400 MBMOniS ov 

** FMty, Sunday* Dec. 13, 1778, A. U. 

^ A man tuae to tdl aie he had inveaited a marhiiw, MuA wwM |i 
«f itfelf, without the help of a apringy weigbt» air, water* or aqj.of lli 
elementA* or the labor of man or beast; and with foroe auflScieBt to woik 
four machines for cutting tobacco; that he had experienced it: woold 
HheW it me if I would come to hia house, and would sell the secret of k 
ftir two hundred kniis. I doohted tt, but promised to go to him m oi4^ 
to see it 

'' A mona. Coder came with a proposition in writing, to levy 600 mcsii 
to bo employed in landing on the coast of England and ScotUnd, to bvim 
and ransom towns and villages, in order to put a stop to die English pro- 
ceedings in that 'way in America. I thanked him, and told him I ooolft 
not approve it, nor had 1 any money at eommaod for such pufpoMSt 
iBoreover that it woold not be permitted by the govetnmest 1 

" A man came with a request that I would patronise and : 
to government, an invention he had, whereby a hussar might so oooceal 
his arms and habiliments, with provision for twenty-four hours, as to sp- 
pear a common traveller; by which means a considerable body mightlie 
admitted into a town, one at a time, unsuspected, and aft or w i rda t 
bliag, surprise it 1 told him I was not a military rasa, of oourac «o j 
of such matters, and advised him to apply to the JBweau de lagatm» 
He said he had no friends, and so eould procure no attentioh.— The num- 
ber of wild schemes proposed to me is so great, %nd they have hereto* 
fore taken so much of my time, that I begin to reject aO, though possMy 
9UM of them may be worth notice. 

^ Received a parcel from aa unknown philosopher," who sobnuts m 
my consideration a memoir on the subject of elemeniary /rs, coBtainiig 
experiments in a dark chamber. It seems to be well written, and is in 
English, with a little tincture of French idiom. I wish to see the experi- 
ments, without which I cannot well judge of it** 

About the commencement of the year 178 1, Dr. FranUiBy 
from his age, inKrmitieSi and the confinement of business 
began to be Mfearj of his situation as minister at the court of 
France, and requested leave to retii-e; ad will appear by flie 
foUowing extract from one of bis public dispatches to tbe 
president of congress. 

Passi/f IZth Marchf 1781. 

— ^ ** I must now beg leave to say something relating t» 
myself, asubjcct with which I have not often troubled the coii- 
gress. I have passed my 75th year, and I find the long and 
severest of tbe gout, which I had the last winter, has shaken 

■ Afterwards discovered to be Marat, of future notorious memory. 


wm nceedingly^ and I md :pU far from haTing r€coT«rad the 
Mily strength 1 before eiyoyed. I do not know that my 
aiental faculties are impaired ; perliaps I shall be the last to 
discover that; but I am sensible of great diminution in my 
sctirityf a quality I think ^rticularly necessary in your mi- 
lister for this court. I am afra\d> therefore^ that your affair* 
siay some time or other suffer by my deficiency. I find also 
that the business is too heavy for me, and too confining. The 
constant attendance at home, which is necessary for receivin|( 
and accepting your bills of exchange, (a matter foreign to 
my minifiterial functions) to answer letters, and perforoa 
other parts of my employment, prevent my taking the ait 
and exercise which my annual journies formerly used to af^ 
ford me, and which contributed much to the preservation of 
my health. There are many other little personal attentions, 
which the infirmities of age render necessary to anold man'a 
comfort, even perhaps in some degree to the continuance of 
bis exiateoce, and with which business often interferes. I 
have been engaged in public affairs, and enjoyed public cmi* 
fidence, in some shape or other, during the long term of^fhf 
yearSf an honor sufficient to satisfy any reasonable ambition} 
and I have now no other left, hot the repose, which I hope the 
congress will grant me, by sending some person to supply my 
place. At the same time I beg they may be assured,' that it is 
not any the least doubt of their success in the glorious cause, 
war any disgust received in their service, that induces me to 
decline it, but purely and simply the reasons abovementioned. 
And as I cannot at present undergo the fatigues of a sea voy- 
age (the last having been almost too much for me,) and werid 
not again expose myself to the hazard of capture and im- 
prisonment in this time of war, I purpose to remain here at 
least till the peace; perhaps it may be for the remainder of 
my life; and if any knowlege or experience I have acqufei 
at this court may be thought of use to my successor, I shall * 
freely communicate it, and assist him with any intuence I may 
lie fioppooed to have, or counsel that may be desired of me.'^ 

• For the remiinto of thi# letter, see Vol V. p. Tl, of tbi* editkNV 


NolwilhstaiK^iiig tliat the reasons assigned in fliisMter far 
desiring a mitigation of labor and oi^rtunities for cjUffdae 
were all oi' them rogent and indubitable, yet tbej were not 
the true cause by which he was actuated to write it The old 
congress was not exempt from the usual infirmities of aD 
public bodies; the passions of envy, jealousy, ambition, and 
faction, very frequently most seriously agitated their cooosda; 
many .good and eminent men were sacrificed to those passioas; 
but many also were preserved from the violence and aoimosi^ 
of rivals. The congress bad however the success and the wis- 
dom of keeping from the knowlege of the world, the danger- 
ous and menacing agitations within themselves. The talents, 
the popularity, the large share which Dr. Frahklin filled in 
the eye of the world, had excited the envy and the jeakmsy 
of men who considered themselves depressed by his fame; 
an intrigue, engendered by tliose passions in congress, had 
been directed to obtain his recal, in order to replace fain by 
one of those who were alike jealous of his established rc|iola- 
tion, and ihe accumulation of fame which was to be the frwt 
of his successful career in France; the attempt was made to 
snatch from his brow the civic wreath which genius hadplaBt- 
ed to remain imperishable; lie saw at a glance with his osod 
comprehension of mind, the course which combined ai^tfae 
best results whicb could proceed out of the occurrence; he 
knew the importance of his influence at Paris, and determin- 
ed that his country should not be deprived of his services tiD 
her independence was determined by a peace; he perceived that 
if intrigue should produce his recal, though it might not dimi- 
Bish his utility in some measure; yet that to tender his re- 
signation would prevent that consequence, and that what was 
more probable, tlie person who sought to supplant him, woaM 
find himself but a secondary character at Paris, ev« pos- 
aessing a commission : this letter produced more than the cT- 
feet which he had expected; but those whom" he disappointedl 
have not forgiven him their disappointment even beyond the 
grave. The congress refused to comply with this request, 
which Dr. Franklin thus notices in a letter to a friend : 


August U,17SU 
* — — c^The congress have done me tlie bon6r to refqse 
accepting my resignation^ and insist on tny continuing in 
their BcrVice till the peace. Ilnust therefore buckle again to 
the business, and thank God that my health and spirits are 
of late improved. I fancy it may have been a doubU mart^" 
action io those enemies you haroe mentioned to me, that I 
should ask as a favor what they hoped to vex me by taking 
from me^ and that I should nevertheless be continued. But 
these sort of considerations should never influence our con- 
duct. We ought always to do what appears best to be done, 
without much regarding what others may think of it I call 
thiscontinuaiice an honor» and I really esteem it to be greater 
than my first appointment, when I consider that all the inte- 
rest of my enemies, united with my own request, were not 
sufficient to prevent it.'* 

In consequence of this derision of the congress, Dr. Frank- 
lin thought it his duty to continue in his situation, and did so 
for many years after, to the gi*eat advantage of his country. 
A friend of Dr. Franklin's having written to him to urge 
his continuance as minister, and making him some flattering 
compliments on the occasion, the doctor thus replied ; 

— — - << Your comparison of the ketf- stone of aji arch is very 
pretty^ tending to make me content with my situation. But 
I suppose you have heard our story of t\w harrow: if not, 
here it is. A farmer in our country sent two of his servants to 
borrow one of a neiglibor, ordering them to bring it between 
them on their shoulders. When they came to look at it, one 
of them who had much wit, said, Wiiat could our master mean 
by sending only two men to bring this harrow? no two men 
upon earth are strong encmgh to carry it. Poh! said the other, 
who was vain of his strength, what do you talk of two men^ 
one man may« carry it; help it upon my shouhlers and you 
shall see. As he proceeded wi^h it* the wag kept exclaiming. 
Zounds! how strong you are! I could not have thought it! 
Why, you are a Samson! There is not such another man in 
America* What amazing strength God has given you! B«A 

404 MXMuins UP 

yoB vffl kill yourself! Pray put it down and rest a little, or 
let BM bear a part of the weight. No, no, said be, being more 
encouraged by the compliments, than oppressed by the bnr- 
den; you shall see I can carry it quite home. And so he did. 
In this particular, I am afraid my part of the imitalioB viB 
fidi short of the original.^' 

A considerable sensation was occasioned aboat this HflKy 
both in America and Europe, by the treachery of the Ane^ 
rican general, Abnoui. As accounts then and siace inn 
greatly differed vfhh respect to some of the causes and cir- 
cumstances relative to it, the following extracts from letlersy 
written (shortly after the occurrence,) to Dr. Franktin, frooi 
two of his correapondents in America, may, perhaps, dad- 
date that extraordinary event, which had nearly proved btal 
to the best interests of America. 

^evport, Rhode hUmd, dated Oct. 10, 1780. 
"BY this ship you will receire an account of the treason and 
tacy of one of our greatest generals, (who went over from us to die i 
d5th September last), and the happy detection of it before the ' 
was curried into execution. General Arnold has buried all his oufitarf 
glory, and sent his name down in history execrated with contempt and 
inlamy. He will be despised not only by us in the United States, bat by 
all the nations of Europe, and in all- future ages. There is reason to be>- 
lieve, that l^e mediuted with the reduction of West Point on the STth 
September, the betraying, at the same time, of general WashingUn and 
tfie minister of France, into the hands of the enemy; for bis exceUeacy 
the chevalier de la Luzerne told me, that passing through West Point on 
his way hither on the 24th, the day before the detection, general Arnold 
importuned him even to indecency to taryy and rest there four or five 
days. And Arnold also knew that general Washington would meet there 
about the same time, on his return Irom an interview with the F^encb of* 
fleers at Hartford. General Arnold is a loss. But America is so fertile in 
patriots, that we qkn afford to lose a distinguished patriot or two ev^y 
year without any essential injury to the glorious cause of Uberty and uk 
dependence. The greatest injury be can do us will be in information. 
However, the present state of the American army is now so good, as that 
the most thorough knowlege of it will rather do us benefit than an injwy. 
The seasonable execution of major Apdr€ (the seducer) a4]utaot<geiKsnl 
of the British army, on the 3d instant, will probably deter such adven- 
turers for the future. 

** Congress, and the assemblies through the states, continue firm and 
unshaken; and they have a cordial support in the union of the naia body 


«f ihe people at Ur g^, notwithstanding the efTorts of teriea and g^overn* 
mental oonnexiooB intermixt in all parts^ whoa^ Sysipbean labors 011I3F 
poll ruin upon themselves. 

"The storm still blows heayy. But our ship will ride it through. With 
joy we look forward, and with undoubtiqg assurance anticipate the sweets 
ind the fihal triumph of American liberty." 

PhOadelphia, dated 12M Oct. 1780. 
"THE late providential discovery of ^moltPtptot, which appears to 
have been for a* considerable time in agitation, has induced a belief that 
Bodney had something further in view than merely counteracting the 
design of the comte de Guichen. 

"In a controversy and revolution such as this, where former friendships 
and intimacies subsisted between the contending parties, and where men 
of upright intentions took different sides, and men of all characters were 
engaged in the contest, it would not have been strange or uncommon if 
conspiracies had been formed; but to the honor of the American army, 
Aknold is the first, and it is believed the only American officer, who has, 
daring this war, entered into a conspiracy to betray his country. You know 
the character of the man ; he was brave but avaricious, fond of parade, and 
not very scrupulous about the means of acqutring^money to defray the ex* 
penses of it. He had married a young woman wlio had been disting^shed 
hf general Howe's Menehianxi hniffhUy and her father was not remarkable 
ht his attachment to the American cause. The expensive manner in which 
Arnold lived in Philadelphia, reduced his finances, and the accounts he 
exhibited against the public underwent a scrutiny at the board of trea- 
sury, not much to the advantage of his honor and honesty,* which, joined 
to ^18 disappointment in the ease of the Actrve, and the result of the court 
martial instituted on the complaint of the council of Pennsylvania, soured 
his temper, and rendered htm a fit object for Clinton's views. By letters 
found among his private papers, it appears that captain Andr^, one of sir 
H. Clinton's aids, had commenced a correspondence with Mrs. Arnold in 
1779, under pretence of supplying her with millinery ; whether it was 
continued till it was ripened into the plot of betraying West Point into 
the hands of the enemy, I will not undertake to say ^ but that the scheme 
had been soEie time. in agitation appears evidently from this, that while 
the enemy were making preparations for executing their purpose, and 
giving out that their design was agunst Virginia, the same reports were 
circulated in lord Comwallis's camp in South Carolina, and measures 
were taken to make us believe he meant to second the expedition, by 
marching through North Carolina, and forming a junction with sir Heniy 
on his arrival in Virginia. At this time Rodney arrived at New York, and 
it is conjectured the design was, as soon as they had guned possession 
of West Point, and cut off the communication between the western and 
sovthem states, to turn their whole force agaunst the French fleet at 
Khode Island. This it is true is but conjecture, but it must be confessed 


the object was gfteat, and had Rodney succeeded, he would hate i 
the year with as much iciai as be began it The proridential diaoofoy 
. of the plot blasted the schemes of our enemies. 

"The annexed, a specimen of American poetiy, well describei te 
popular feeling on the occasion.**' 


At Freedom's call, see Arnold take the field*^ 
With honor blazon'd on his patriot shield ( 
His gallant feats a dazzling lustre spread: 
And circling glories beam'd around his head. 
His weli-earn'd praises were consign'd to fame; 
And fate decreed him an immortal name. 
But when, estranged from freedom's glorious caose. 
Neglecting honor, and its sacred laws, 
Impeird by motives of the basest Und, 
Which mark the vicious, mean, degen'rate miod— > 
To virtue lost, and callous to disgraoex- 
The traitor hiding with the hero's face— 
His canker'd heart, to sordid views a slave. 
To Mammon'yielding all that freedom gave, 
Enlei^'d with frienda of that detested tribe— 
Whose god is gold, whose saviour is a bribe ■ 
Could basely join, his country to betray. 
And thus restore a ruthless tyrant's sway— 
On freedom's sons impose the galling yoke. 
And crush each foe to vice beneath the stfoke; 
Not all his laurels, in the field obtained. 
Not that which Philip's son by conqueat gain'd. 
Not all that once adom'd great Cesar's brow. 
Nor aU that Washington may challenge how — 
Could save a wretch, whom crimes like these debase 
So far beneath the rank of human race: 
But stung with keen remorse, his guilty soul 
In vain shall seek repose from pole to pole; 
Perpetual anguish shall torment his breast. 
And hellish demons haunt his troubled rast; 
Not even death shall shield his hated name^ 
For still the caitiff shall survive to fame. 
By fate's decree — ^who thus pronouac'd his lot: 
''Too bad to die, too base to be forgot — 
*' Thy crimes succeeding ages shall proclaim, 
** And Judas be forgot in Arnold's name." 
Oei^ber, 1780. 


The foUowing letter from Dr. Franklin to the marquis de 
h Fayette, then serving in the American army» also makes 
meDtion of Arnold's treason, and bints at the price or rrwari 
iie)mceived from the British goT^rnment for his treachery: 
ttis letter will also he found interesting in other respects. 

To tht Marquis de /a Fayette. 

Dear Sib, * Passy, May 14, ir81. 

YOU are a very good correspondent, which I do not 
deserve, as I am a bad one. The trujth is, 1 have too much 
business upon my hands, a great deal of it foi*eign to my 
function as a minister, which interferes with my writing re- 
gularly to my friends. But I am nevertheless extremely sen- 
sible of your in sending me such frequent and full 
intelligence of the state of affairs on your side the water, and 
in letting me see by your letters, that your health continues^ 
as well as your seal for our cause and country. 

I hope that by this time the ship wliich has the honor of 
bearing yoor name, is safely arrived. She carries clothing 
for near twenty thousand men, with arms, ammuniMon» &c. 
which will supply some of your wants, and colonel Laurens 
will bring a considerable addition, if Providence favors his 
passage. You will receive from him the particulars, which 
makes my writing more fully by him unnecessary. 

Your friends have beard of your being gone against tbe 
traitor •dmofal, and arc anxious to hear of your success^ 
and that you have brought liim to punishment. Inclosed is a 
copy of a letter from his agent in England,^* captured by one 

' Copy of A letter from Mr. Meyrick, army agent in London, to 
~ * General Arnold. 

^ 8SK, ParUament street, SOth Jan. 1781. 

** I AM honored with your several letters, inclosing bills on Harley 
nd Brmaroond to tbe amount of ^ve thousand pounds, the receipt of 
vbidi I have regularly by packet acknowleged. On the day they were paid 
I tnfetted the amount in the fund you mentioned, and it was a very la» 
vorable time. I flatter myself it will meet your approbation, also the mode 
in which it was done. 

** As it is poMtUe some directions might come from you for dispOMiig 
of the money is some other mode, I thought it aught not be so advan- 


of oar cniisei*S| and by which the price or reward be rtctiv* 
ed for his treachery may be guessed at Judas sold only cue 

tageous to lock it up totally, as it might be a long while before I ooidd te* 
ceive a power of attorney from you to transfer, had I put it in year tunti 
and meantime the dividend could not be received for your use. Hie i^ode 
I have adopted has been used in like cases, and can be instantly altered to 

any you direct^ on your favoring me with a letter. 

The account is as fol|ows» viz. 
Bought by Samuel and William Scholey^ stock-brokers, for inajor«c«n» 
ral Arnold, 70001. stock, in new 4 per cents, a. rii» as follows: 

In name of major-general Benedict Arnold* Paid. 

1002. stock a. T^k new 4 per cent consols. > . ^^g^ «f« g^ 
6,900/. stock a. 71i in q|me of J. Meyrick, esq.5 *^*'"*^ *** " 


Ck)mmi8sion paid to brokers 8 15 

Letter of attorney to receive dividends .... 16 

4,996 « 6 

There then remuns of the 5000t, three pounds, thirteen skiUinfs and 

Thus, by this method, if I receive any instructions from 3roa for tm- 
ploying your money in a diflerent manner, 1 can sell out the 6900t and 
dispose of your monf y agreeable to your directions before this letter 
reaches you; and if it is your wish that it should remain in the Ibadi, 
it can be placed under your name, by my transferring the 09OOL aat 
joining it to your 100/L The reason of my purchasing the iMter i 
your name was, that you might have an account open. Also^ the 
of attorney now- inclosed will enable me to receive the dividends on the 
whole 7000/. stock, after I have made the transfer, should you chooK I 
should do so. I hope I have made myself properly understood, end can 
assure you I have, to the best of my abilities, acted for you as mysetf. I 
have the honor to be, sir, your obedient, and most humble serraBt, 

Major-General Arnold. JAMES MEYBICK. 

KB. In addition to this supposed purchase money of the general hsB* 
self, the following pensions were afterwards granted to hia ftsnily. Bf 
warrant dated July 20, 1783. 

To Edward Shippen 
James Robertson 


^ _ ....... AaKOLP, 400t 

tSeorge, and 

Sophia Matilda 

By warrant dated 12th Jtwt, ISOfu 

To Sophia Matilda Amold> lOOl 

BsviTAMnr nuincxiN. 469 

'flBAn, Arnold three millions. Jodas got for his one man, thirty 
pieces of silver, Arnold not a halfpenny a head, A mmeraUe 
bargain ! especially when one considers the qaantity of infa- 
my lie has acquired to himself, and entailed on his fiunily. 

The English are in a fair way of gaining still more ene* 
mies: they play a desperate game. Fortune may fkror them 
as it sometimes does a drunken dicer; but by their tyranigr 
In the East, they have at length ronsed the powers there against 
them; and I do not know that tliey have in the West a 8iD|^ 
friend. If they lose tlieir India commerce, (which is one of 
their present great suppoi*t8,) and one battle at sea, their ere* 
dit is gone, and their power follows. Thus empires by pride^ 
folly, and extravagance, ruin themselves like individuals. M. 
La Mothe Piquet lias snatched from between their teeth, a 
good deal of their West India prey, having taken twenty-twe 
sail of 'their homeward-bound prizes. One of our American 
privateers has taken two more, and brought them into Brest, 
and two were burnt; there were thirty-four in company, with 
-two men of war of the line and two frigates, who saved them- 
Selves by flight, but we do not hear of their being yet got in. 

I think it was a wise measure to send colonel Laurens here, 
who could speak knowingly of the state of the army. It has 
%een attended with all the success that perhaps coidd reason- ^ 
ably be expected; though not with all that was wished. He 
has fully justified your character of him, and returns tho- 
roughly possessed of my esteem; but that cannot and ought 
not to idease him so much as a little more money would have 
doqp for his beloved army. This court continues Arm and 
steady in its friendship, and does every thing it can for us. 
Can wa not do a little more for ourselves? My successor (for 
I have desired the congress to send me one) will find it in the 
best disposition towards us, and I hope he will take care to 
cultivate that disposition. Ton, who know the leading people 
of both countries, can perhaps judge better than any member 
of congress of a person suitable for this station. I wish yon 
-may be in tlie way to give your advice, when the matter is 

VOL. T. 3 G 


410 MBMOOU OV . 

agitated in that assembly. I have been long tired of the tnkb 
of minister, and wished for a little repose before I went to 
deep for good and all. I thought I might have held out till 
the peace; but as that seems at a greater distance than the 
end of my days»I grow impatiejit. I wocdd not* howcFCTy 
qait the service of the public, if I did not sincerely think that 
it would be easy for the congress, witli your connsd, to find 
a fitter man. God bless you, and croWn all your labors vitk 

With the highcst^i'egard and most sincere affection, I am, 
-dear sir, &c. &c. 


NotwitlistandingDr. Franklin's various and important oc* 
copations, he occasionally amused himself in composiBg and 
printingf by means of a small set of type^ and a press be 
had In his house, several of his light essays, bagaUks, or 
jetior d'e^pri^^ written chiefly for the amusement ofhisioti- 
Inate friends: among these were the annexed; printed on a 
half sheet of coarse paper, so as to imitate, as mocb as pos- 
sible^ ^ poition of a Boston newspaper. 

The repeated accounts received .from America of the born* 
bly cruel manner in which the Indian allies of Great Britain 
prosecuted the war against the peaceable inhabitants of the 
United States; murdering defenceless farmers, with their 
wives and children, and carrying off their scalps, for the 
toward promised in proportion to the number, (said alresdy 
to have amounted to two thousand), was the foundation of a 
project which he formed fur awakening the feelings of ha- 
manity to a doe sense of the barbarity which one of the cabi* 
net ministers had avowed in the house of lords, as en^fUn/iag 
the tneans which Providence placed in their ha^ds; the follow- 
ing letter shews the nature of the fact^^Upon which he pro- 
jected a series of new^pers, or of papeis so printed as to 
imitate a paper at that time printed in Boston called the Jbt* 
ton Imlependeitt Chronicle. 

BElfJAMIN ffiAHKUm. 41 i 

To Mr» EuHan* 
Mt oeab ou) Fbibioi^ Passy, 7ih July, ir82« 

A LETTER written bjr you to M. Bertirt, minijfre 
iPetoly containing an acconnt of the abominable tnurdets com- 
mitted by some of the frontier' people ^on the poor Moravian 
Indians^ has given me infinite pain and vexation. Tiie dispen- 
sations of Providence in this world puzzle my weak reason; 
I cannot comprehend why cruel ro^n should have been permit- 
ted thus to destroy their fellow creatures. Some of the Indiana 
may be supposed to have committed sins, but one cannot 
think the little children had committed any worthy of deaths 
Why has a single man in England, who happens to love blood 
and to hate Americans^ been permitted to gratify tliat bad tem- 
per^ by hiring German murderers, and joining them with his 
own^ to destroy, in a continued course of .bloody years, near 
one hundred thousand human creatures, many of them pos- 
sessed of useful talents, virtues, and abilities, to which he haa 
no pretension! It is he wlio has furnislied the savages with 
batchets and scalping knives, and engages them ip fall upon 
defenceless farmers, and murder them with their wives and 
children, paying for their scalps, of which an account kept 
in America, already amounts as I have heard to near two 
thousand. Perhaps the people of the frontiers, exasperated by 
the cruelties of the Indians, have been induced to kilt all In- 
dians that fall into their hands without distinction; so that 
even these horrid murders of our poor Moravians may be 
laid to his charge. And yet this man lives, enjoys all the good 
things this world can afford, and is surrtmnded by flatterers 
who keep even his conscience quiet by telling him he is the 
best of princes! I wonder at this, but I cannot therefore part 
with the comfortable belief of a divine Providence: and the 
more I see the Impossibility from'the extent and number of his 
crimes, of giving equivalent punishment to a wicked man in 
ttiis life, the more I am convinced of a future state, in which 
all that here appears to be wrong shall be set right, all that 
is crooked made straight. In this faith let you and I, my friend^ 

419 MBMOiaS OF 

comfort oorsdvcs; it is flie 011I7 comferty in the present diric 
scene of things that is allowed us. 

I shall not ful to write to the government of Americaiiiif- 
ing that efFectml care may be taken to protect and save the 
remainder of those nnhai^y people. Since writing the abonl 
bave recmed a Phi]adelpfaia» paper containing some iccwDt 
of the same horrid transaction, a little different, and aone 
drcUBstances alleged as excuses or paUiations, batextrand; 
weak and insoflkient. I send it to you envelqied. 


The other article is Bjeu d^esprU of a gayer turn, origioat* 
ing from a memorial of the British ambassador, sir Joseph 
Torke» reclaiming tlie king^s ships, the 8erapis and Onadttt 
(jf Scarbaroughf prizes carried into Holland by the American 
squadron under commodore Jones; whom sir Joseph designa- 
te^ «< the pirate Paul Jones of Scotland; a rebel subject, aa4 
a criminal of the state/' 

The deception intended by this supposed ** 8vpplmiaii' 
(which was very accurately imitated with respect to priotii^ 
paper, tlie insertion of adTertisements, &c.) was, that by 
transmitting it to England, it might actually be taken for 
what it purported to be, and the two prominent articles con- 
tained in it, consequently, copied into the English papers, as 
genuine intelligence from America. 

The end proposed tliereby, was to shame the British goTen- 
ment. It is uncertain whether this artifice succeeded as veil 
as a similar one of Dr. Franklin's, the **Prus9ian EdiU,*^^* 
as related in his Frivatb CoRnsspoKOBKCE. 

A copy of this intended deception, as printed, is here given 
with the omission only of the advertisements and seme of tbe 
names, tides, and epithets, in the latter article^ 

Dr* Franklin had a great opinion of the effects to be pf9- 
dttcpud by suitable writings in the public prints^as will ai^eir 
ffon ttie following, letter to Dr. Pr^ce. 

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Potajr, June IS, ir8£« 

-^•---•'^ I congratulate you on the late revolation in your 
public affaire. Much goovl may arise from it> though possi- 
bly not all that good men* and even the new ministers them* 
selves^ may have wished or expected. The change, liowerer^ 
in the sentiments of the nation^ in which I see evident effects 
of your writ ngs, with those of our deceased friend Mr* 
Burghy and others of our valuable club^ should encourage 
you to proceed. The antient Roman and Greek orators could 
only speak to the number of citizens capable of being assem* 
Ued Within the reach of their voice; their writings had little 
effoctf because the bulk of the people could not read. Now by 
the pre«s we can speak to nations; and goud books* and well-* 
written pamphletSf have great and general influence. The fa« 
cility with which the same truths may be repeatedly enforced 
by placing them in different lights, in newipapers which are 
every where read, gives a great chance of establishing them.- 
And we now find, that it is not only right to strike while the 
iron is hot, but that it is very practicable to beat it by con- 
tinual striking. 

In the moutli of June, 1783, Mr. Jones, afterwards sir 
tV^illiam Jones» so eminently distinguished for his virtuesr 
genius, and learning, came to Paris, accompanied by the late 
Mr. Paradise, with the intention of proceeding thence to 
America. These gentlemen bad been long connected by a 
most intimate friendship, and the object of this journey is 
stated by lord Teignmonth (in his life of the former) to have 
been ^^professionalf to procure the restitution of a very large 
estate of a client and friend, which had been attached by an 
order of the States, who had threatened the confiscation of 
the iNPoperty, unless the owner appeared in person to claim 
it.^' His lordship adds, *• This object is mentioned by Mr. 
Jones in his correspondence, and his own evidence will be 
^Mdusive against some surmises and insinnoHons, which. 

414 MEMOlfiS Of 

were propagated respecting the motiveB of faia intended Joqf- 
ney. The irresolution of his friend, increased by imiispoaitiaay 
prerented the execotion of the plan, and Mr. Jones, after ha?- 
ing procured a passport Trom FranlLlin, the American si- 
nister at the court of France, returned to En|^and thnii^ 
Normandy and Holland.'' Of sir WQliam Jones's account of 
his motiyes for going to America, as giyen by him to his 
friends in England, the editor has no iLnowlege; bat at Pattf, 
where he and Mr. Paradise frequently partoolc of the boapi- 
talities and conversation of Dr. FianlLlin, Mr. Jones assigih 
ed no other motive for his intended voyage, th^ that of m> 
companying his friend, and gratifying his curiosity by seeii^ 
a country for whose rights he had been a decided advocate. 
Mr. Paradise had never been the client of Mr. Jones, not- 
withstanding their friendship, he having never been engaged 
in any law-suit in England, nor had he the smallest need of a 
lawyer in America, where nothing more was required than 
bis presence, to avoid the penalty to which absent proprietuis 
residing in a country at that time hostile, were made liabhb 
unless they came to the United States within a limited time; a 
penalty which Mr. Paradise did in fact avoid, without any 
lawyer, and even without going to America, until nearly tie 
years after the war had terminated. It could not; therefwr, 
have been a proressional object which actuated sir WiDiaia 
Jones in this undertaking; and in fact, by some expressioDB 
which escaped from him in a conversation with Mr. Jay (one 
of the American plenipotentiaries), the latter strong;ly ss- 
pected, that the real purpose of this intended visit to the Uni- 
ted States, was to endeavor to produce a disposition in per- 
sons of influence therCf to accept a reconciliation with Grat 
Britain, on terms more favorable, or less humiliating, tfaaa 
those of absolute independency; and this suspicion soon after 
received a strong confirmation in the mind of Mr. Jay, opoa 
his accidentally noticing In a printed account of the then ft- 
cent proceedings of the << so